I created another thread a few days ago and in it i mentioned that i was looking into converting to the catholic faith. I have another question which i would like an answer to. sure i can go to a father but for now i much more prefer to hear the many answer my question not just one person. it has to do with corporal mortification, is there any scriptural basis for this practice? i read the following and it did bring up a good point. it is a somewhat long read, but very interesting, at least for me. thanks in advance for any answers!
I believe that the Catholic mystics were sincere men and women who loved the Lord. However, I also believe that they were deceived. It can be seen in the connection which they made between suffering and intimacy with God. They give a distorted picture of the nature and character of God.
Catherine of Sienna said that Jesus Christ was her novice master. But, supposedly under the direction of Jesus, she regularly whipped herself until the blood ran down her back.
Teresa of Avila recounted an incident when she was sick and suffering and feeling miserable, and Jesus told her that is how he treats His friends. Teresa replied that it was no wonder that Jesus had so few friends.
John of the Cross said that the “dark night of the soul” (intense spiritual and emotional suffering) is necessary for intimacy with God.
Francis of Assisi said that it was “perfect joy” to be cold and hungry and rejected and verbally abused. He glorified pain and suffering and poverty. At the end of his life, Francis had the stigmata. These are visible, bleeding, painful wounds which occur in the same locations as the wounds which Jesus Christ suffered on the cross. They are wounds in the hands and feet and side. They can also include wounds in the back (from whipping) and head (from the crown of thorns). Francis’ disciples considered the stigmata to be a sign of God’s great love for Francis.
Other people have also had the stigmata. One modern example is Padre Pio, who regularly whipped himself.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 says that the devil is able to work signs and lying wonders. He would be capable of causing the stigmata, especially if people want it because they think that it is a sign of God’s favor. The stigmata are supernatural and they imitate the wounds of the crucifixion. However, that does not mean that they come from God. They could come from the devil.
Compare the experiences of Catherine, Teresa, John and Francis with the experiences of men in the Bible who had extraordinary intimacy with God, and an extraordinary level of communication with Him. Compare this with Moses, and Joshua, and the prophets, and John the Baptist, and the Apostles. Did any of them whip himself? Did they do penances to mortify their flesh? Did any of them have the stigmata?"
sure catholic are not bound to believe in private revelation, but if these mystics were lying to their teeth, who can we trust?