Seeking a Healthy Personal Perspective on Private Revelation

Discussion in 'The Signs of the Times' started by darrell, May 13, 2010.

  1. darrell

    darrell New Member

    I suppose this post is intended mainly for visitors and the newer members of the forum. It is NOT intended to judge or criticize any individuals, but rather as a caution against getting caught up and spending too much time speculating about the future to the detriment of fulfilling our mission today.

    We here are aware of the private revelations concerning our times and certain prophecies regarding predicted future events like the Warning and the Miracle and others. Our awareness of the darkness of today’s relativistic and atheistic world – the evilness of our times – creates for us in our hearts a longing for a world that turns back to God.

    I remember when I came home from my pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I wanted to share the message with everyone. When I tried to tell people beyond my faith community about it, reactions ranged from unbelief to outright animosity to responses like, “Oh I believe it, I just don’t feel any need to go” (or to change the way they’re living their life in any way). Trying to evangelize in today’s secular society often feels like trying to swim upstream in a rapid current – we’re going nowhere fast, except backward maybe. Despite our best efforts – our prayers and fasting and efforts to spread the good news – we see our family members leaving the Church for a “feel-good” church, or worse losing their faith altogether. We see our world becoming ever more sinful, and we see the fruits of this Godlessness – escalating crime, natural disasters, terrorism, and war – and we see the innocent victims of all these things… And we want it to stop! Out hearts cry out for God to do something, and we pray for the coming of the Warning and the Miracle and the era of peace…

    So we here in this forum observe the signs of the times; we recognize the ever-increasing amount of private revelation poured out in the world today, and we try to discern the true from the false. Sometimes some of the courageous members share their own mystical experiences. Our “spiritual sense” tells us that events are escalating and the time that God will act in a biblical way is fast approaching. We discuss all these things, and we fall into speculation about how soon before something will happen.

    Just this morning, I was reading one thread here in which this speculation on the future continues. Our friend Norman Holland states that he believes the era of peace will begin as soon as 2015 to 2020 (I’m NOT criticizing Norman here – it’s just that his speculation triggered the following direction of my thinking). 2015 to 2020…I thought to myself, “That’s really soon” – that didn’t leave a lot of time for a lot of things like civil unrest and wars that I had in my mind that would happen in the interim between the Warning and the era of peace… And then I realized how much my thinking of what will happen in the future was still influenced by the predictions and timelines of another…

    I was reminded of my involvement with this individual who for years claimed to know the dates of the Warning and Miracle but wouldn’t share them with anyone. Then he did reveal the supposed dates, and they came and went and nothing happened. Many people were misled along with me – I do NOT believe this individual misled us purposely – I think he deceived himself along with the rest of us…

    I remember another incident from a few years before I became involved with the above individual, some close personal spiritual friends of mine, a very devout couple, shared a date with me given to them from a very holy priest. They believed it was the date of the Warning. The day came and passed, and no Warning.

    The above incidents have taught me something echoed by Jesus’ words in today’s first reading from Acts: “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.”

    I once spent a lot of time studying the Sacred Scriptures, reading private revelation – the writings of the Saints, the prophecies of Marian apparitions (Medjugorje and others), etc. – and I believed I began to gain some insight. I began to see reoccurring dates and correlations of numbers in these dates with certain scriptures. But after all my study and prayer and consideration, I still don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Are all these reoccurring dates and numbers just coincidence? No, when it comes to God I don’t believe in coincidence. It is enough for me to see these things as a sign that the all powerful God is in control and the Divine Hand of Providence is guiding things. I’m sure that if the Lord wants me to know something about the future, He’ll let me know in no uncertain terms. God could let me know the future if He wants, but He wants me to live by faith.

    We live in uncertain times with the ever declining moral fabric of our society, escalating natural disasters, economic decline, etc., and we want peace and a world that puts God in the first place. It’s only natural and human to want to know that the future will be OK. There’s nothing wrong with longing in our hearts for an era of peace. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this life, but He gives us His peace.

    I personally have come to understand that it is a great gift to live by faith. And I know that what the Lord expects from the faithful is echoed in His next sentence from this morning’s first reading: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…

    I have to get to work now, so I’ll have to conclude this later. In the meantime, feel free to chime in. :)
     
  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Acts 1:7
    He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
     
  3. twoangels

    twoangels New Member

    Thought provoking and insightful post Darrell.
    Darrell said
    "And then I realized how much my thinking of what will happen in the future was still influenced by the predictions and timelines of another…"

    Siobhan
     
  4. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    The future is exactly that the future known only to God. We are to live in the security of God's presence in the now through prayer, so the key to the Christian life is in our relationship with God. We are told by our Lady that this time is her time; it has been granted to her for a divine purpose so she encourages us to use time well; may this time be a time of prayer for you; may this time be a time of personal prayer for you; may prayer become your daily bread. If we are secure in our faith we need not fear the future no matter what it may bring. What we do know is that the time of grace will come to an end but no one knows when but probably within the lifetime of the seers of Medjugorje, so it will happen in our lifetime too. So the important thing is to use the time well to grow in faith and love since God could call us any-time to our eternal home. Living the life in the spirit brings God's peace that nothing can disturb, as it is a peace that the world can never know. Reading the signs of the times is an interest but if it becomes and obsession or causes us fear then we are not fully anchored in Christ and then we will not be ready when the time of grace ends. The priority must always be to live the Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and the sacraments.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Angels

    Thanks Darrell, very well put. I, personally, am quite tired of hearing about dates, times, places and other speculation about the Warning, etc. I agree with you that we must live in faith, and well, just wait. We must also use the time given us to pray, pray, pray.
     
  6. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    I have an interest in eschatology and enjoy reading prophecy and trying to work our the sequence of future events and have no problem posting about these things in the 'signs of the time' section - & Padraig too has an interest in these events otherwise he wouldn't have put that in the forum. This is one of the reasons why I joined the Mother of God forum. I appreciate not everyone has an interest in eschatology and if you find it 'tiring' then don't read the 'signs of the times section' :) Simple!
     
  7. darrell

    darrell New Member

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. :D There is a place for private revelation in the life of the faithful - otherwise the good God wouldn't pour it out. But it's not a requirement. The important thing is to not lose sight or focus -- as I said in my thesis - "against getting caught up and spending too much time speculating about the future to the detriment of fulfilling our mission today."

    I'm off to work now, and I'm helping lead a retreat this weekend, so I'll be listening to what the Spirit has to say to me and finish this later - it could be a few days before I can write.

    Have a great weekend everyone. :)
     
  8. Thomas

    Thomas Angels

    @garabandal,

    I think you misunderstand me. I have a keen interest in eschatology and have been studying it for a number of years now and consider myself to be fairly well versed on the topic, but by no means an authority. Also, I do enjoy reading about private revelations and what those folks have to say (including many of you). Some of them I consider to be insightful and helpful. However, what I am "tired" of is some people insisting that they definitively know certain things such as whether or not humanity has entered the tribulation, when the Warning will occur, etc. Some of these people frequent forums such as this and seem to feel the need to tell others what is or what will be. In fact, they know neither and should be challenged rather than so readily embraced or believed.

    As an example, I offer up the recent incident involving someone who goes by the pen name Duke Puntalangit. I'm sure you are familiar with this case so I won't go into the details, but when someone starts claiming that bombs are going to go off in certain cities by certain dates, etc -- I can easily see it as bogus as most of you probably do too. What is sad is how many people seem so willing to believe it. I will say, to Duke's credit, he has since posted that his predictions are false when they did not come to pass. However, how many people who chose to believe him are now more confused and lost than before? Have they been brought closer to the faith or have they become disillusioned? In my view, his predictions were harmful.

    I joined this forum because I saw and experienced something quite different when visiting and reading the postings here. Padraig is someone who I regard as genuine, gentle, insightful but discerning. He doesn't seem to buy into much of the "noise," which is something I can appreciate. I am interested in what he has to say regarding his life experiences, dreams, reflections on our most beautiful Roman Catholic faith, etc. I'm also interested in what y'all have to say as well.

    In my opinion, Darrell expressed the rest of my thoughts so well, I can't really add to it.
     
  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Yes.

    I think someone from near New York sent me a message that 'Duke' had forecast a nuclear explosion for earlier on this month.

    Of course it never happened, otherwise I hope we would have heard about it:wink: :D

    I think forecasts like this, well they cause people to be afraid and worry, so, in charity I think this is wrong. If I was Duke and I had done this, I would just about die of embarassment, never mind the fear and upset I caused. Certainly I would NEVER issue any prophetic messages again.

    I hope if you read this Duke you will pray over it and consider this. I would really advise not to publish any more messages. But pray to Our Lady over this and better seek the advise of a wise, holy priest.

    But as to precise dates. I think there is a difference between someone who says, 'I have a message from God such and such a thing will happen on such and such a date'. This to be would be cause for concern.

    ...and again someone who says, 'I have worked out from other messages that there is a possibility that something will happen round about a certain date'. This to me is fine.

    As to those who do directly prophesy from God or Our Lady or whoever precise dates, well...they have a grave duty, especially if they are forecasting something dire and dreadful. But with God we have to leave the door a little open. Our Lady, for instance said she would return at a certain date at Lourdes and Fatima..and she did. Also I have a feeling that when the Secrets of Medugorje are revealed they may well include exact dates..but who knows?
    In general though direct prophesy of dates makes me more than a little leary.

    But as scripture says..as to the Last Days..that is hidden ..even from the angels.
     
  10. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    No problems Thomas, I hear what you have to say and respect your opinions but most of all admire your faith. I think there has been a genuine attempt on this forum to read the signs of the times and put them into perpective but no one has been dogmatic about dates unlike on other forums.

    The key is to live the faith, as Darrel has said.

    Nevertheless, we should not supress prophecy which is a genuine gift of the Spirit and the Bible is pregnant with a prophetic pulse and prophets are highly respected [that is someone who can interpret the signs of the times for others]:

    All four Gospels use "prophet" to refer both to John the Baptist (Mark 11:32; Matt 21:46; Luke 1:76; 7:26; 20:6; cf. John 1:21) and to Jesus (Mark 6:15; 8:28; Matt 14:5; 16:14; 21:11, 46; Luke 7:16, 39; 9:19; 24:19; John 4:19; 6:14; 7:40; 9:17). The infancy narrative in Luke's Gospel also mentions an old "prophetess" named Anna who frequented the Jerusalem Temple, where she encounters the Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus (Luke 2:36). The Letters of Paul mention "prophets" right after "apostles" when listing various categories of early Christian leaders (1 Cor 12:28-29; cf. 14:29-37). The Acts of the Apostles names five men as "prophets and teachers" of the church in Antioch: "Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul [i.e. Paul]" (13:1). Acts later also mentions Christian prophets named Judas and Silas (15:32) and Agabus (21:10), and asserts that the four daughters of the evangelist Philip "had the gift of prophesying" (21:8). The Book of Revelation mention saints, apostles, and/or prophets together in several passages (11:18; 16:6; 18:20-24, where the references are most likely not (or not only) to the OT prophets but mostly to early Christian leaders (this is especially clear in 22:9).

    Then there is the gift of "prophecy" (Gk. profhteia / propheteia) and the action of "prophesying" (Gk. profhteuw / propheteuo) are very important in the life of the early Christian communities, as seen in various NT texts: In several letters, Paul speaks of prophecy as one of the gifts given to some Christians for the benefit of the Church (Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:10; 13:2, 8; 14:6, 22; 1 Thess 5:20; cf. 1 Tim 1:18; 4:14). Paul also refers to praying and "prophesying" and other spiritual practices as normal parts of the worship services of his early Christian communities (1 Cor 11:4-5; 13:9; 14:1-40).

    Personally, I think Padraig has a gift for prophecy [that is reading and interpreting the signs of the times] and I admire & respect this aspect of his faith:

    But we are also warned near the beginning of Revelation, in the letter to the church in Thyatira, a woman named Jezebel is also denounced as a false "prophetess" (Rev 2:20). We need to also 'discern' the prophet and the prophetic message - this is very important. Jesus said we can discern a tree by its fruits!
     
  11. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Yes.

    We must judge the tree by its fruits, even on the internet. So if someone called, say, Joe Black prophecises I think it very helpful to know quite a lot about 'Joe Black' himself.

    I have never really felt drawn to issue prophecies as such. I have seen something of the future in prayer myself , but have never felt any great need to publish these. This is pretty well a small , private forum and what we write here does not really go much further than a small group of people, really and I dare say we can most of us all consider ourselves friends now.

    Its different though for some one who proclaims that he/she has seen a vision or heard a voice and had been asked by God to publically proclaim something to the entire world. That's a very grave responsibilty, especially if it contains dates of dire happenings.

    But I've always been interested in such things. Its something of a hobby. But,since Our Lady asked us to understand the 'Signs of the Times' well thats more a Spiritual Duty than a hobby. The two things are not quite the same.
     
  12. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Sorry Padraig, I posted at the same time and did not get a chance to read your post. For me prophecy is not about predicting the exact dates of future events but about building up and preparing the body of Christ for what is to come by reading the signs of the times. Therefore, we will be fore-warned and prepared when events unfold;

    For example, prophecy indicates that there will be an illumination of conscience or warning one day. We do not know the date only that it will occur when things are at their worst. Therefore, there will come a time when things will become so bad that God will act - we are prepared because we have been praying, fasting and growing in faith & therefore we will be able to help many people after the Illumination - in many ways we will become 'life-savers' for many badly affected by these things. Things are certainly worse in Europe and England for example than in the USA. Those living in America may not understand how bad things are in Europe and Norman for example lives in England which is virtually Godless so the signs of the times are more advanced in this continent so we feel we are closer and closer to the warning.

    When Padraig prophecised that the 'felt' that aircraft would be grounded he was sharing a prophetic impulse received during prayer. So we were fore-warned even in this so God is good!

    When the secrets of Medjugorje will be revealed in advance we will get an explicit date; when, where and for how long so that the world will know that this is from God. Again when this happens this forum and we on the forum are going to incredibly busy. We who have lived the messages of Medjugorje will have to explain them to others!
     
  13. padraig

    padraig New Member

    No, I agree Bobby. Prophesy is not about exact dates.
     

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