Mystics/doctrine

I’ve come across an interesting problem with a person who claims to receive guidance directly from the Holy Spirit.
This person claims the Spirit has directly contradicted Church teaching regarding…primacy of Peter, Real Presence, Marian teachings, and even the definition of “church” in scriptures as meaning the catholic church.
So of course…this individual claims he ought to “listen to the Spirit” rather than listen to the teachins of “men”

I thought it would be interesting to challenge him with some of the mystical revelations given to our saints through the Spirit.
I have Faustina’s diary…and Story of a Soul by St. Therese.

I wanted to know your suggestions regarding revelations by the Spirit to saints that support Church teaching.

[quote=Lorarose]I’ve come across an interesting problem with a person who claims to receive guidance directly from the Holy Spirit.
This person claims the Spirit has directly contradicted Church teaching regarding…primacy of Peter, Real Presence, Marian teachings, and even the definition of “church” in scriptures as meaning the catholic church.
So of course…this individual claims he ought to “listen to the Spirit” rather than listen to the teachins of “men”

I thought it would be interesting to challenge him with some of the mystical revelations given to our saints through the Spirit.
I have Faustina’s diary…and Story of a Soul by St. Therese.

I wanted to know your suggestions regarding revelations by the Spirit to saints that support Church teaching.
[/quote]

This sounds like a person who is being deceived into thinking it is the Holy Spirit that is guiding him. Ask the individual if Martin Luther and his counterparts hare more validity then the early church fathers.

I’ve gone that route to no avail.
This guy thinks he has a direct line to the Spirit.
He asks "Has the Spirit ever directly said to you…"
Things like that.

So I was thinking of finding examples of those saints who DID receive direct confirmation from the Spirit. Some of our saints received apparitions from Christ (St. Margaret Mary, St. Faustina)

Are there online sources to read about some of these revelations?

Lorarose - it sounds to me like this person might be on some very treacherous ground. Not to judge the situation, but a suggestion might be to consider the words of the disciple John:

1Jo 4:1 Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jo 4:2 By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God. And this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh: and he is now already in the world.
1Jo 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jo 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore of the world they speak: and the world heareth them.
1Jo 4:6 We are of God. He that knoweth God heareth us. He that is not of God heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (Douay-Rheims Bible)

further remind him that satan can appear as an angel of light. If the “spirit” speaks things to this person that denies the accepted truth of God especially in relation to Jesus Christ, or denies that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man, than beware. :mad:

You might also look into St. Catherine de Ricci, St. Terese of Avila, and St. John of the Cross, especially in relation to how their experiences strengthed their personal faith leading to their great contributions to the church

Your friend should have a Spiritual Director. All the great mystics of the Church submitted to their Spiritual Directors. A good director will tell your friend what you already know–that these messages are not coming from the Holy Spirit. A good director should be able to show him places in the Bible that contradict these messages. Obviously, God does not contradict Himself.

If the spirit’s advice is contrary to church teaching, it is not the Holy Spirit!

1Jo 4:1 Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jo 4:2 By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jo 4:3 And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God. And this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh: and he is now already in the world.
1Jo 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jo 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore of the world they speak: and the world heareth them.
1Jo 4:6 We are of God. He that knoweth God heareth us. He that is not of God heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (Douay-Rheims Bible)

I think we’ve exhausted dueling bible verses.
He would see no problem with any of these verses, as he is confident that the “Spirit” speaking to him is indeed the Holy Spirit.

He claims he checks the Church’s teachings out with the Spirit.
If the Spirit “confirms” it…he believes it.
If the Spirit does not confirm it…he doesn’t believe it.

Needless to say…he doesn’t accept the primacy of Peter, the Real Presence, confession, or Marian Doctrine.
He thinks the “church” is anyone who has been given the Holy Spirit.

Lorarose - I see where that might be a problem. A spirit of disobedience (towards the teachings of the church and the truth of the bible) is usually bad news. This is a key point of recognized revealations, they never ask for disobedience.

[quote=urquhart]If the spirit’s advice is contrary to church teaching, it is not the Holy Spirit!
[/quote]

That’s probably the simplist most accurate advice to give him. If he doesn’t seem to think that is relevant, maybe you could kindly strongly encourage him to seek out a priest or spiritual director to talk to.

Dealing with supernatural things like this is best dealt with through those means I believe. It sounds like he is confused, so hopefully he will take your advice to talk with a priest.

[quote=Lorarose]I think we’ve exhausted dueling bible verses.
He would see no problem with any of these verses, as he is confident that the “Spirit” speaking to him is indeed the Holy Spirit.

He claims he checks the Church’s teachings out with the Spirit.
If the Spirit “confirms” it…he believes it.
If the Spirit does not confirm it…he doesn’t believe it.

Needless to say…he doesn’t accept the primacy of Peter, the Real Presence, confession, or Marian Doctrine.
He thinks the “church” is anyone who has been given the Holy Spirit.
[/quote]

Is he Catholic? Millions of people share these beliefs and they don’t need the affirmation of the Holy Spirit personally whispering in their ears . . .

[quote=Lorarose]I’ve come across an interesting problem with a person who claims to receive guidance directly from the Holy Spirit.
This person claims the Spirit has directly contradicted Church teaching regarding…primacy of Peter, Real Presence, Marian teachings, and even the definition of “church” in scriptures as meaning the catholic church.
So of course…this individual claims he ought to “listen to the Spirit” rather than listen to the teachins of “men”

I thought it would be interesting to challenge him with some of the mystical revelations given to our saints through the Spirit.
I have Faustina’s diary…and Story of a Soul by St. Therese.

I wanted to know your suggestions regarding revelations by the Spirit to saints that support Church teaching.
[/quote]

Hey look, I know this link is long, but this is just what you need. Granted, it is written for priests, but still helps one discern whether a spirit is from above or not. Much of what you may need could be down further so scan the headlines. It gets into signs that priests look for and one of those signs is compatibility with church teaching, not questioning it.

What your friend is saying is a clear sign to me that the revelations or charisms he is having are not Divine and possibly diabolical. The Holy Spirit guides the teaching institution - the Magisterium, and the Papacy and any spirit telling him of a contradiction is a really bad sign. If I were him, I would hi-tail it to a priest and share these “contradictions”. Hopefully, he is only hearing his own voice, and not that of the devil himself.

In fact, if this person is Catholic, I’d offer to drive him to a confessor myself.

EDIT: Oops! Didn’t notice your post that he doesn’t believe in confession, or anything else that is Catholic.

From my position, he’s in serious danger with his thought patterns.

EDIT again: Here’s the link on discerning spirits from the Order of Canons Regular of the Holy Cross. These priests are defenders of the faith and magisterium.

opusangelorum.org/Priestcircular/Discernofspirits.html

you mean to say that the holy spirit doesn’t guide???..what about paul and barnabas where the spirit bid them not to go into asia and other parts of the earth…where he goes where the spirit leads him to go…i’ll have to say though…the holy spirit will only tell you what is in line with gods word. and he won’t contradict the bible…and i can tell you without a doubt that the holy spirit probably often contradicts man…cause man is falliable…and the spirit is infalliable…man will come up with ways that contradict the bible and most certainly have no reason being implemented as a doctrine if it is outside the boundaries of the biblical text that is not substantiated in correct interpretation. and in that case if anyone is refuting any doctrine he will have the scripture…and the spirit will always be inline with gods word…i would have to say…you have to be very careful about the teachings of men…all doctrine has to be viewed in the light of the gospel and in correct interpretation…just accepting one mans word w/o consulting the bible is pure foolishness…

Ceasar

Amen, Caesar! And that’s what we do everyday, trusting that the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit is guiding our Church Magesterium to correctly interpret the Bible and all the Church Traditions!

“For I will be with you always, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against you!”

Amen!

Thanks everyone…he is a catholic, but seems to have held on to many of his protestant beliefs (he’s a convert).
It is frustrating because no matter how you reason with him, he says “the Spirit told me… blah blah blah”

[quote=NotWorthy]Amen, Caesar! And that’s what we do everyday, trusting that the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit is guiding our Church Magesterium to correctly interpret the Bible and all the Church Traditions!

“For I will be with you always, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against you!”

Amen!
[/quote]

the holy spirit can lead you and guide you to correctly interpret the bible…its not just up to “church officials” the holy spirit is for the church…“everyone” there is no special gifting from the holy spirit that allows someone special/elected by holy ghost to interpret doctrine…its for all people…its a basic program initiated at salvation…to have the holy spirit as the “teacher”…

Ceasar

[quote=ceasar]the holy spirit can lead you and guide you to correctly interpret the bible…its not just up to “church officials” the holy spirit is for the church…“everyone” there is no special gifting from the holy spirit that allows someone special/elected by holy ghost to interpret doctrine…its for all people…its a basic program initiated at salvation…to have the holy spirit as the “teacher”…

Ceasar
[/quote]

Your claim implies that each individual reader of the Bible will be led to the correct interpretation of the text and to the correct development of doctrine from the text. If God is One, and the Holy Spirit is guiding each person to the truth, there is precious little evidence of that among those who reject St. Peter’s admonititon “that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation?” (2 Pet 1:20)

[quote=ceasar]the holy spirit can lead you and guide you to correctly interpret the bible…its not just up to “church officials” the holy spirit is for the church…“everyone” there is no special gifting from the holy spirit that allows someone special/elected by holy ghost to interpret doctrine…its for all people…its a basic program initiated at salvation…to have the holy spirit as the “teacher”…

Ceasar
[/quote]

But if the Holy Spirit is guiding each and everyone of us, how can we have so many differing interpretations. There is only one truth, so either the Holy Spirit is wrong, or we are.

You know which option I’m betting on?

NotWorthy

The reality may be that behind all Protestantism is Satan.

The problem is who is really at fault for this? Sin divides according to the Church. The sins of the Church at the time of the Reformation may be the cause of the division…

Who is really at fault if that is the case?

Somehow i can imagine Jesus in heaven shaking his head in disbelief with what has taken place since the middle ages.

I don’t know what to believe anymore…

I’ve often wondered why we as individuals have guidance from the Holy Spirit, if we have to subject every movement we get against Church Teachings in order to decide whether it was “real” or not.

If it blatantly goes against Church teachings, then that’s one thing. If it is something we really don’t know, or a complex case where higher rules than ones we are familiar with might be in order, then it seem perfectly reasonable to assume these are the precise cases where we need an infallible and dynamic guide. Not every situation can be taken into account for every possible Church rule to measure and evaluate options against, so we receive guidance from our well-formed hearts.

My impression of the Holy Spirit was that he indwells each of us and speaks in ways very subtle such that true mystics who have achieved a high degree of inner silence might be the only ones who can effectively “hear” his voice.

I just can’t believe that when Jesus said he would not leave us as orphans, but would send His spirit, that He was only sending the Spirit to the Church authorities. Besides, whether the Church laws are perfect or not, they are incomplete to the extent that they are subject to being translated into human language.

What we really need to do is program ourselves and our hearts, being transformed in mind and spirit to lead us properly. Teaching of the Church is just that; teaching. When one goes and gets a master’s degree in engineering, that person has a good background but must adapt it to every situation he/she encounters.

Alan

It is precisely with Church teaching that this problem comes up.

If we believe that the Spirit guided the Church to true teaching, then something else is “guiding” this man.
He is claiming that when it comes to the papacy, Church infallibility, Mary, Real Presence, Confession…that the Spirit has “told” him different than what the Church teaches.

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.