Eye of Providence

Hi Everyone,

A few years ago, I was quite stressed in work and after a number of months of prolonged pressure, I began to have severe episodes of hemiplegic migraines.
I was admitted to hospital a number of times and on my last visit I was lying in the hospital bed on a Sunday and a priest knocked my door as he was doing his rounds on the ward.
We began to speak about faith and spirituality and I mentioned to him that I had a deep faith, not borne of studying the bible, but from deep meditation.
I went on to ask was he aware of the Masonic symbol of the Eye of Providence. He said he was and I explained that about 10 years earlier, around the 2008 Recession, I had the time to meditate at least 3-4 hours a day. I told him that I’d experienced a full spiritual awaking and that one morning I had seen the Eye of Provdence. I also said that previous to this I didn’t know this was something that could be seen in meditation and have since tried a number of times again but to no avail.
His reply is was what really struck me, he said that I’d seen a little bit of Heaven! As the gravity of what he said was sinking in, he quickly wrapped up the conversation and continued his rounds.
So my question is, what are priests taught about these more esoteric things and why are the people not told about these things?
Yours Sincerely
John

What you may have experienced might not have been the Masonic per se - it may have been some other form of enlightenment. What you experienced may also have been partially produced by the stress and pain of the migraine, as well as a loss of sleep or many other factors.

The Masons are diametrically opposed to the Catholic Church and teach indifferentism - a sort of “I’m OK, you’re OK” where everyone is right and good in their own way. What is lost in this translation, is objective truth.

5 Likes

I know nothing of the “Eye of Providence” but the priest was suggesting that you received a “private revelation”. Such experiences are part of Church legacy and are somewhat addressed in the catechism, mainly under contemplative prayer perhaps. The experiences are granted at God’s discretion, for His purposes, but most often in conjunction with our earnestly seeking Him in one manner or another. While profound and encouraging they are not considered to be necessary or to be the central focus of ones faith. They actually carry with them more responsibility for the receiver, since, as Luke 12:48 tells us, from he who is given much, more will be demanded. As the priest suggested, rightly or wrongly, you’ve been given a taste or vision of heaven. The biggest order of the day for all of us is to get through this life here on earth, continuing to fight the good fight in spite of not beholding or “seeing” God fully and continuously as we will in the next.

Hi po18guy,

Thanks for your reply, but could I first politely clarify a few points.
The experience was indeed not masonic per se, it was a mystical experience and these encounters with the Divine are a part of all religions and spiritual traditions.
I had the spiritual awakening, and the Eye revelation, back around the time of the 2008 recession and went through the Dark Night of the Soul (ref, St. John of the Cross & the The Cloud of Unknowing). Although the dark night for me, lasted a number of months.
The migraine episodes where in 2016 and then while in hospital I mentioned the Eye to the priest. In the months leading up to the migraines, I actually found it very hard to collect my thoughts and meditate, as I was overly worried about work.

After having this awakening, I had the urge to understand and as I joke with Muslims, "And the Voice said to Mohammad, ‘Read’. So I spent the next few years reading up on Western & Eastern Mystery schools and their philosophies, and began to have deep understanding of the common thread within all religions. There’s a nice saying from Sufism about going into extended prayer and meditation - Little talk, little sleep and little eat.

I’ve had many mystical experiences since 2008 and when now reading the Gospels and other books in the bible, I have a deeper understanding so some of the more cryptic verses.
For eg: You must be as a child to enter(see) the kingdom of Heaven.
I say to people that we can all, with a bit of correct guidance and determination, learn how to communion with the Divine, and in meditation we must be as a child and learn to switch off our rational (ego derived) mind, and simply feel. But this is far easier said than done.

Would be keen to know your thoughts.

Hopefully I get a reply from a Priest as I’d love to know the Churches view on such matters.

Kind regards
John

Careful or you will drift into gnosticism, an ancient heresy that continues to propagate similar ideas in organizations today (Freemasons, Rosicrucians etc.). This inverts Christianity by making it esoteric, privy to the select few, when salvation is exoteric, public, and offered to everyone.

We are not saved by secret knowledge but by God’s love for us, revealed in Christ, who is a real, physical person who was born, lived, died, and rose from the dead at a particular point in history.

2 Likes

Hi fhansen,

As I was mentioning to po18guy, I went through an intense period of spiritual upheaval and subsequently a number of years reading many mystical texts to try and get an understanding of their meaning.
I would totally agree that ‘the experiences are granted at God’s discretion’ and your reference to Luke 12:48. But we can all learn how to commune with the Divine.
For me, the mystical side of Christianity has been largely lost. I agree that our first order of the day is to do justice to this gift of life we’ve been given. But the priests answer that day in the hospital puzzled and perplexed me, as during his training he had been obviously taught about these mystical experiences & symbology (which is actually said to be Christian in origin) and possibly their meaning.

From my meditation and research, what I have found is that these experiences are in fact accessible to almost anyone. We simply have to meditate, in a quiet room on our own as instructed in Matthew 6:6, and learn to quieten our chattering mind. Do this for extended periods and eventually within a number of months we will awaken.

I can’t convey the awe inspired by these most profound experiences. The only things that hold us all back from having them are, firstly the knowledge that they are possible, then our own fear and determination.

Quantum mechanics, research into our electromagnetic field in relation to the earth’s magnetic field (the Schumann Resonance) and advances in Neurologically, are starting to explain what has traditionally been described as Metaphysical.

Kind regards
John

Just as a note, I doubt science will ever understand these phenomena anywhere near exhaustively; they may not even be able to scratch the surface very deeply because, while communion with God is natural (as Augustine said, “I found you not, Oh Lord, because I erred in seeking without that which was within”) and, in fact, a matter of justice or right order of things for humans, these mystical experiences are still a matter of faith and grace.

Anyway, all priests, nuns, religious, etc have been taught about these things, while some may be more skeptical and others less. Some have experienced them for themselves. In any case, while communion with God-and the more immediate that communion the better-is the object of our faith to begin with, I’m not so sure that all are “cut out” to seek and either way to experience them now. The more earnestly we seek the more we’ll find, but many just won’t take that step. And Mother Teresa, for example, had a profound experience early in life which continued to affect her throughout but it also left her in a degree of pain-because the Object of her greatest desire could never be “conjured up” by her again, and separation from Him is the primary lot of all of us here on earth regardless of how many encounters we may have.

Yes, to meet God closely is only a good thing, and not anything to be dismissed or rejected. Likewise, to experience visions, locutions et al, orchestrated by the Master, cannot be bad, but, again, not the primary goal of our faith here on earth; we don’t need those in order to believe, as faith, itself, is a gift of grace. I say this only because some think their faith must depend on signs, miracles, etc.

The eye of providence is not only a Masonic symbol.

I once saw it just below the choir loft at a Catholic parish church in Switzerland.

Hi fhansen,

thanks for your reply. I think traditionally we’ve accepted that divine phenomena would never be understood, but more recently the likes of Dr Joe Dispenza & the Institute of Noetic Sciences - IONS (founded by 6th man on the moon, Edgar Mitchell), just to name a few, are starting to scientifically prove that with we can all experience these phenomena to a greater or lesser extent.
Also I definitely agree that there is a perception that not all are ‘cut out’ for this path. But if a priest or nun has ‘signed up’ as it were, to a life of devotion to God, then they should at least be given the tools to find Him in the spiritual sense.
This is a grievance I have with the Church and the reason for my original question in this forum. In a few months Jesus found 12 men suitable to be his Apostle’s. They were taught how to ‘heal the sick’ by the laying on of hands. The importance of this mystical training was lost/contested during the Councils of Nicaea, and in nearly 2000 years there has been little advancement in better understanding our personal relationship with God, which is by definition a spiritual one.
Countless people over the centuries from both the Clergy and Congregation, have missed out on the opportunity of knowing God in the mystical sense.
If one of our goals, as followers of Christ, is to bring people closer to Him and the Father, then it could be argued that the Church is doing us a great disservice by firstly, not informing the Flock that these things are possible and secondly, by not teaching the Clergy how to meditate properly. The knowledge has been in existence for centuries, take the Cloud of Unknowing for example, a Masterpiece in explaining how we should approach meditation.

PS, Hope you and the family are keeping safe and well in these challenging time.

Kind regards
John

Hi catholic03,

Yes, supposedly it is Christian in origin. It is called the Eye of Providence in the West, but the Buddhists and Daoist’s call it the Celestial Eye. I have learned from reading Chinese mystical text that it is actually a metaphysical function and that with extended daily meditation, can be seen at will.

I could explain how it functions but traditionally this knowledge has been passed on by word of mouth only, and I don’t want to offend those traditions.
If you like to inquire further, please message me directly.

Kind regards
John

1 Like

Hi Neithan,

I think your definition of Gnosticism is slight skewed. Some of the Gnostic’s belief where incorrect, but others are accurate in my opinion.
But someone who is a Christian and has had mystical experiences, could call themselves a Christian Gnostic. They have has experiences that confirm to them the existence of God and for them, they Know that He exists, rather than they simply Believe, not to take away of course from those who have not had or have sought out communion with the Divine.

I agree that we are Saved by God’s love for us, but the point I’m making is that we can all seek this communion, and it is in fact a God given right to us all.

As is was explaining to fhansen
“If one of our goals, as followers of Christ, is to bring people closer to Him and the Father, then it could be argued that the Church is doing us a great disservice by firstly, not informing the Flock that these things are possible and secondly, by not teaching the Clergy how to meditate properly. The knowledge has been in existence for centuries, take the Cloud of Unknowing for example, a Masterpiece in explaining how we should approach meditation.”

Kind regards
John

Ok, but in real life, while having information regarding these experiences is important, you still can’t make a horse drink. A person has to want it-and if not for the siren call of another beer many would lack the motivation necessary just to get off the sofa. And there are other obstacles, not the least of which is our own human pride, the pride that fears the opinion of man more than God and resists any kind of departure from the crowd. And, again, these experiences, at least the experiences described by many Catholics down through the centuries, are still granted at God’s discretion; seeking them won’t necessarily result in obtaining them.

And humility is absolutely essential since we aren’t speaking of some natural cause and effect type of matter here, but about a supernatural gift. Maybe Dr Joe et al will prove me wrong but I rather doubt it. Anyway, we’re all called to a higher level of existence as I see it. Whether or not we even care has much to do with how high we rise. But I’m all for the Church encouraging us to try-that’s her job at the end of the day.

I also think that patience is in order. It takes time for the light to grow and spread and be embraced on a broader scale-and I see more light than ever emanating from the Church at many levels, even as we encounter a bunch of darkness from those who’ve acted selfishly and sinfully in the recent past. But, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds” (Rom 5). I think God is pouring out the light of His grace in these times more than ever, and many, from higher Church figures to lesser ones, are responding. JMO.

Hi fhansen,

I would have to disagree or correct the perceptions that have formed your opinions on some points.
As I mentioned earlier in our discussion, all members of the clergy have Heard the Calling, so they are willing and want to drink, they just need to be shown how to Drink, as it were. Psalm 23:5 You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
But the misconception is that there are special people, chosen by God to be granted access to these mysteries. This is not true, we are all Sons of the Most High (Psalm 82:6)and if any of us should decide to embark upon a period of extended prayer and meditation, we can all learn how to commune with Him.
It is true that many lack the motivation and determination to begin and sustain this journey, which is the beginning can be quite boring with very little indication of progress, but eventually, revelations will be experienced and His Grace felt.
It is also true that seeking them won’t necessarily result in obtaining them, but so few actually know the Way and many of those Catholics who have described these experiences over the centuries, have simply stumbled upon the thought patterns that allow the Divine within us to come forth.
As stated totally correctly in the Cloud of Unknowing “For He can well be loved, but he cannot be thought. By love he can be grasped and held, but by thought, neither grasped nor held”
We have to learn to put to one side our rational analytical mind and turn our attention towards our hearts and simply feel. The greatest catalyst for communion is to simply Love God and His Creation and to cease the analysis of It.
If we do not care to seek Him then we will not rise to these higher levels of existence, where paradoxically we sense things on much a deeper level. But there are times occasionally when those who do not care much for Him are posed with a situation where they have no option but to acknowledge Him and the existence of a whole spiritual world that they never really gave much thought to before. There any many documented cases of experiences with both the Angels of Light and the Forces of Darkness, that have made skeptics, believers.
I’m doubtful if the Church would break from nearly 2000 years of tradition, but what I’d love to see is the mystical side of our faith being discussed openly, and being actively investigated by those keen to do so.
I agree that there is more light than ever pouring into this world and humanity is starting to awaken, and normal people are becoming spiritually aware all by themselves. But the Church could facilitate this and actively encourage the reception of His Light.
I’m afraid that the Church will be pale into insignificance, and maybe even be swept aside if it does not embrace the Awakening, for the less they are involved, the more the perception will grow that are in fact trying to hinder it.

Kind regards
John

Well I’d hope you’re right-and God’s will be done either way. I may object on one point, however. I don’t necessarily agree with the statement that “all members of the clergy have Heard the Calling”. As with much in life, discerning vocations can be a messy thing, not at all necessarily cut and dry. There can be many reasons why a person might become a clergy member-and not always the best or purest reasons IMO. I’ve just seen a few too many poor fits. Not that God can’t use it…for His purposes.

Yes that is very true in fact and being Irish I know all too well about some of the poor fits and of some of ‘stains’ to the Cloth as it where.
Do you know if any priests actually post on this forum?
It just I wondering will I be able to engage with a Priest on this matter…

Regards
John

Yes, I see some now and then. I couldn’t tell you offhand who- or how they might be found.

Thanks anyway.

Regards
John

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.