I have a close friend, a faithful practicing Catholic who has flashes (mind pictures) of things past (of which the person would have no reason to know) and some things future which have come to pass. This person has not sought after this ability and has no control over it. Things just seem to pop to mind. There is a pattern of this in some of the forebears of this person. The Irish call it being fey. There have so far, over a number of years, been no incidents of false flashes or insights. This person also has an uncanny ability to read character when meeting someone. If this person does not seek to know things in this way, how could it be considered superstitious or sinful?
[quote=rwoehmke]If this person does not seek to know things in this way, how could it be considered superstitious or sinful?
Who said it was superstitious or sinful? A person is not morally culpable for that he does not will. Only if one deliberately seeks out knowledge of the past or future through occult means, or if one puts groundless faith in supernatural or occult phenomena is there a problem.
In your friend’s case, however, even though you report that this person does not intentionally seek out such knowledge about the past, future, or other people’s souls, he should be careful not to share that he has such an ability with impressionable souls who may very easily misunderstand the nature of what is given to this person. Sharing such knowledge with those who do not understand what is going on could be a cause of grave scandal.
In other words, although you report that this person has not sought after forbidden knowledge, there is a danger that this person can be tempted to develop his supernatural abilities and/or exploit this knowledge he’s been given. For that reason, I strongly recommend that this person seek assistance from an orthodox and balanced confessor/spiritual director for help in dealing with this phenomena in a manner that is in keeping with his Catholic faith.