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PaulS

Divine Revelation?

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Taken well Thomas on this end.

At this stage in my life i do not expect others to accept my personal experiences as valid for them and you have been very polite on what can be a sensitive subject. I will share when asked but i can not be concerned if others interprets what i say as favoritism, especially when i testify that my experience is that i am no more worthy than the next person.  Of course to the mind, i admit it looks like favoritism but to me that seems only because of the thinkers concept of God. Then the question is... What is it? I don't claim to know but my experiences have shown me that perhaps pre-conceived beliefs play a major role to receiving answers as i covered somewhat in my 2nd post above this. As far as throwing you off a bit with my words, guilty here. It seems to me that when belief touches the heart (God) it becomes a knowing such as the word faith used in Hebrews Chap 11:1 . The power of the spoken word at that point is not limited to such intentions as we personally may consider good or bad. The thing spoken is manifested without judgement as such and as if you were one with God at that moment. Also Mark 11:23 end of verse didn't say if it be God's will, it said "he shall have whatsoever he saith."

The church system paints a model of what one must ask for and how holy one must be to have prayers answered or revelations but i have found those beliefs only limit answers because no one can live up to those believed rules/laws. Failing what we then believe then causes unconscious guilt in the mind that creation (God) will not hear us or we are not worthy of a response regardless of how good a person we seem to be to others.. So how can you touch the power of God even though no distance separates you when you really don't in your heart believe you are heard of God or that God works that way. After all we are taught in some churches that we are sinners, need constant forgiveness and our righteousness is as filthy rags before God.

It doesn't surprise me that people may not really believe in the power of communion with God, even some who say that they do. It seems to me the less we are encumbered by organized church teaching , dogma,  and doctrine and the more we rid our self of our limited possibilities the more we will see answered prayers and revelations in our life.

What a rant! :o:rolleyes:

PS. a related short sermon on our site that expand on the last 2 paragraphs

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Posted (edited)

Joseph,

Growing up Catholic is the 50/60s, and having been educated in Catholic institutions thru grad school, I don't remember any models on the 'what' and "who" of prayer or revelation. Rather, if anything, it was a rather open, simple model based on the understanding of Jesus. And there seems to be a history of 'everyday' people who had revelations and also many of these same people whose 'pre-conceived notions' displayed a real belief in and openness to (the theistic) God  - and were fertile ground for prayers. I remember praying as a kid, nightly, for the health and safety of those I loved, praying to St. Jude to find lost 'stuff' and, as an athlete, saying a prayer before a game. I also probably said a little prayer, now and again, that Lori or Marcia liked me as much as I liked them. I knew of no model and I know first hand that any guilt never inhibited me from the traditional prayer of my youth. My experience, for myself, those I knew then and those I taught and knew later, was that there was not any (overwhelming) sense of unworthiness that stopped us from believing that we could get a response. I, we, did believe we were heard and God could indeed respond - in ways small and big. Perhaps this was specific to the millions of Catholics: we heard some of the 'sinner' rhetoric but we 'received God' into our very bodies every Sunday, Holy Day and, for some of us, everyday (and we were told to dress for the occasion :+}).

I guess I see no difference between your prayer for a job and the prayers, for example, of one of my Irish grandparents for safety on their voyage to the US or a prayer that my grandfather get good work to put food on the table to feed his wife and kids. Regardless of the notion of God, it seems there was a faith in God and a vey human need for help - coupled with their own efforts.

Actually, it is my current, well thought out notions that now lead me to question (respectfully) the kind of revelation we have been discussing.   

Perhaps we are not far off from the other's position. I not only believe in God, I think revelation, understood as the presence and self-giving of God, is an everyday event; revelation is the very way we become human in the ordinary moments of our lives.  Even if it is not recognized, it is at work and effective. I think the difference (among us all) is that some become aware (through belief) that they live in the Presence and this is where the 'insight' of the mystic is born and/or a life, in Conscious Love, is lived. 

"The more we rid our self of our limited possibilities the more we will see answered prayers and revelations in our life." I read this and think about Jesus: even though the man comes to us through the lens of the early Christian movement, I believe it is safe to day he moved beyond limited possibilities and I believe he had an Insight into God, yet his prayer  was not answered as it seems he wished. Probably because it couldn't be, God/the Universe/Being could not alter the course of Jesus running into the power structure of his day - and, seeing this, Jesus said, "Your Will' and gets up and continues to do the Will of the Father, to Love, even uno death.

Perhaps. 

p.s. agree with faith in Hebrews.

Edited by thormas
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Thomas,

I can relate to what you say about Catholics especially being raised one at the time of Latin Mass's. Catholics on the whole are probably less encumbered by guilt than other denominations. When i was evangelizing i found Catholic faith for the most part high and guilt low due to belief in the forgiveness of sin through priest confessions and forgiveness and remission of sin doctrines. Have seen many prayers answered concerning their faith in prayer and using me as a vessel..Most at that time were not all that versed in dogma and doctrine and to me that was to their benefit. Most i knew read the Bible very little and their faith usually was not inhibited by guilt. They seemed to have great faith in the prayers of an ordained minister to answer their prayer. Perhaps part of that had to do for some at  that time who believed they needed a priest/minister as a go between.to touch God.

At least that is the way it seemed to me,

 

PS Your guess is as good as mine of what actually transpired with Jesus but i would think that when he connected with that prayer he spoke the answer into existence with his final words of  "nevertheless your will be done" .

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We had the whole priest thing who was 'necessary' for mass but prayer was ours and God, not the priest, was accepted as the one to answer prayers.

True about Jesus although one can truly understand such a prayer to 'let this cup pass' even for a non-theist. Spoke to God or 'into existence' seems the first part of the prayer just couldn't be answered. One wonders if Jesus knew this all along but utters the pleas of a scared, mortal man before gathering himself to be on his way. I always thought this was a very human action.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

We had the whole priest thing who was 'necessary' for mass but prayer was ours and God, not the priest, was accepted as the one to answer prayers.

 

I think it was a bit different in my day and where i lived. Most didn't even pray to God or read their Bible. They prayed to a patron saint or to the Mother Mary or some go-between. Or just used the Rosary to say Hail Mary's or Our Father's. Sounds like your experience might be different.

I was in Middletown Ohio once preaching on the street and this Catholic (unknown at the time) was on his balcony yelling at me to get off the sidewalk in front of his home and the bar on the corner and stop preaching. In peace i looked up at him and opened my mouth to both his and my surprise and said, "Come down here and God will heal your knee."  He was a complete stranger and i knew it had to be God because of the certainty i felt at the time. He was puzzled and asked how i knew he had a bad knee (injured in service to our country). I just repeated the statement and he hobbled down to the street and allowed me to pray for him. After which he replied, Thank you and keep praying that God heals me. I told him, there was no need he was healed and go ahead and walk. He took a couple steps and was filled with joy to almost dancing. He was able to walk normal and wanted to help us get a building for a church on that street. Never took him up on the offer but he had faith but didn't realize it could be so simple and thought one must keep praying. I have been shown that once one prays through and knows it was heard each additional asking is just unbelief and wavering faith that will produce no fruit.

The 'word of knowledge'of his knee was a gift of the spirit as far as i know. I didn't invoke anything consciously to receive it but i did believe God gave such gifts and that if God was no respecter of persons and did it with others i also could be used. The healing seemed to take place as a result of his heightened faith from a word of knowledge , his faith in the authority of my followup words spoken and then his acting on it by walking. I have seen more Catholics healed than other denominations for the reasons i might assume or for just their simple faith. Don't really know but it seems so to me. Would like to understand but i am satisfied to be a vessel with or without full understanding or certainty.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, JosephM said:

I think it was a bit different in my day and where i lived. Most didn't even pray to God or read their Bible. They prayed to a patron saint or to the Mother Mary or some go-between. Or just used the Rosary to say Hail Mary's or Our Father's. Sounds like your experience might be different.

Joseph, 

You have entered a whole other area that is simply foreign to me.

I was in NYC once, in the summer, windows down, driving in the Village and was stopped at a red light. There was an older man begging at the car in front of me and it looked like there was an argument: I assumed the driver told the guy to "f--k off" and, as luck would have it, I was next in line. The light turned red and the bigger came to my window - a college kid, driving his father's car, with little to no money. I was polite but before I could do anything, he, in broad daylight, put an incredibly sharp blade to my neck and started to rant and rave about the other driver. The light must have turned at least twice (but it felt like forever) and, being in NYC, no one, I mean no one noticed. I remember saying to myself, "talk for all your worth." And so I did, I listen, commiserated, treated him as worthwhile and worthy of dignity and slowly the knife came away. He eventually thanked me, reached in his pocket and brought out his social security check and offered it to me for being nice. I thanked him but said I couldn't take his check. He smile, took it back, thanked me and was on his way (You were offered help in finding a building for a church, I was offered what the man had at that moment).

God was never mentioned by either of us and there was no invocation of God. And it could be said the man was healed in a way more profound than physical.  Indeed, it could be said that in that moment, in that particular time, he was made whole. And I too became more in those minutes witnessed by none but the two of us. Any gifts given were not merely in the moment but had been given (and received) through others and brought to bear in that particular moment.    

Was God involved? Yes, but the 'revelation' (God's Self, i.e. Love) was in and through all the ordinary moments of my life and when the call of Life (in the form of a plea for recognition, for respect, for the value of an individual life) came again, I was enabled to hear and respond (be it with some trembling). Was it a gift of the spirit? Again, yes but it was not confined to the one moment and faith was indeed heightened in response to the Word in our human words that called to us.

I too "... didn't realize it could be so simple..." and I realized that once one loves, sometimes it bears fruit, other times it falls on barren ground but one continues.

As for being a vessel for further actions/healings, there was the time I was mugged at gunpoint in NYC (I was in there a good bit since I grew up within 10 miles on the NJ side) but that is a story for another day.

I guess the point is that two experience with some similar elements have been given or elicit somewhat different (thought not entirely) interpretations of those experiences. Intriguing, I will have to read and ponder more.

Edited by thormas
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Thanks for sharing that life experience story Thomas. A most interesting read and perspective. Thank you.

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I once had a very different revelation.  I was driving in the country on a Saturday around noon CST and saw a shining golden cross on a small cloud in an otherwise clear sky.  I had an immediate sense that this was not meant for me, but that the Pope had just died and it was related to that and was of no importance to me personally.

The two events were indeed about the same time.

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It seems to me that all divine revelation can be explained away by the thinking mind if one is so inclined and the event is thought about long enough. Perhaps, there is a logical explanation or evidence that will be understood in the future?  However, after many personal experiences it becomes evident to the one who has the experiences that there is something in our very being that we can't explain in words that (for good or bad, right or wrong, i can't say) intercedes (for reasons at the time unknown) in the normally natural accepted flow of thoughts in the mind and unmasks a state of awareness that i can only describe as divine. Here is another such life story of mine for those who have interest in such things.

It was in the 70's and i was working on my instructor pilots license. To build up some cross country time i took my wife and her sister and brother in law for a trip in a C172 to a grass strip airport in central Florida for a luncheon. On the way back to Fort Lauderdale I ran into some severe weather (my poor choice as i knew of the possibility) and experienced engine icing. I started losing altitude and the ground was obscured with instrument conditions. As i got closer to the ground i went through my checklist and picked out what looked like a rough field where we could land but probably suffer damage and some injury. Once you pick a field you are taught to stay with it rather than change because your gliding time is very limited at a few hundred feet and any turn will eat that altitude fast. And besides visibility was limited to a few hundred feet at the time. As i was telling the passengers to prepare for a rough landing a calm came over me and fear was non-existent. In perfect peace i just knew (had a revelation) to turn right into a cloud at my side and forget about standard procedure of landing at the field that i could see and had set up for. I entered the low cloud passed through it over a powerline and landed seconds later between 2 cars on Rt27 which i had not seen prior to exiting the cloud. To me that was divine revelation and found in a place where unspeakable peace reigned. Smooth engine out landing and no damage or injuries. Didn't even go to church at that time in my life. Had identified as no-religious preference. Since 1966

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Great story, Joseph.  These modest, ephemeral revelations seem fairly common to me.  I believe they are facilitated by prayer (certainly present here) and a lack of sin (as evidenced by concern for your passengers).

Burning bush style revelations are rare, but revelation is pretty common at the 'wake up and smell the coffee' level.

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