New hearts and God's and the Beast's names on our foreheads


#1

When the Bible talks about God removing our hearts of stone, and in the Book of Revelation talking about the Beast’s and God’s name on a large group of people, it sounds like they will undergo profound psychological changes that is probably well beyond what people experience today. People who turn to God will be saved.

I find this to be very interesting especially since I tend to pray with my forehead, and when engaged in Centering Prayer, I often sense an inner light emanating from my forehead.

I’m very interested in hearing what other people think about these verses. What do you think will happen to these people psychologically? These versus are very deep and I suspect that I’m leaving a lot out that others can fill in.


#2

First, you should not be engaging in centering prayer. it is very dangerous and can even open you up to possession, even though it appears on the surface to be oriented towards God. But it really isn’t. centering prayer essentially causes a person to think that they are the greatest and that they are even a god, which you most certainly are not. Secondly, revelation is an apocalyptic text and is highly symbolic. it is actually about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not the end of the world as many protestants erroneously believe. there will not be any “special knowledge” given to believers. im assuming you got this idea from your practice of centering prayer. stay away from it. its dangerous.


#3

carmelitanacollection.com/larking.php

Please listen to a well respected Carmelite on the topic of Centering Prayer.


#4

Centering prayer is not compatible with Catholicism.

ewtn.com/vexperts/showmessage.asp?number=338372

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=234

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=61531

cin.org/users/james/files/meditation.htm


#5

Re: feeling like you pray more from your forehead - Well, that’s pretty normal. Of course, a lot of people picture themselves praying from all kinds of places. It’s not good or bad; it’s just a quirk.

Re: the main meaning of the people being sealed on their foreheads - When early Christian people were Baptized, they were given chrism with a small Sign of the Cross on the forehead. This went along with the vision of Ezekiel about angels marking God’s faithful people with a cross/letter Tav on their forehead, just like shepherds would paint a sheep marking of a Tav on the sheepfarmer’s sheep.

So that carried over into Revelation, and many of the early Christians made a small Sign of the Cross on their foreheads, to bless themselves before they did any kind of activity.

Later, people began to make the big Sign of the Cross over their whole bodies; but the tiny Sign of the Cross is a little older. And that’s still how priests do certain Baptismal blessings and how they give us ashes on Ash Wednesday.

So yes, if you have been Baptized as a Catholic, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit, and some of the physical signs of it were the water, the chrism, and the cross on your forehead. (Along with crosses on other parts of your body, like your hands.) You are marked and sealed as one of God’s flock, and as a consecrated Temple of the Lord.

Obviously, one of the easier meanings about the marks of the Beast are that they are the opposite or fake version of Baptism, because there’s an entirely different mark on the forehead (and hands).

Anyway, here’s Ezekiel 9:3-6 -

"And [the Lord of Israel] called to the man [an angel looking like a man] that was clothed with linen, and had a writer’ s inkhorn at his loins. And the Lord said to him: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem: and mark Tav upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and mourn, for all the abominations that are committed in the midst [of Jerusalem].”

And to the other [angels], He said in my hearing: “Go ye after him through the city, and strike: let not your eyes spare, nor be ye moved with pity. Utterly destroy old and young, maidens, children and women: but upon whomsoever you shall see Tav, kill him not…”

So you see that Ezekiel was having a vision of a sort of New Passover, where the recording angel was inking a sheepmark cross on the heads of those who were faithful. That mark would save them from the angels of death, just like the lamb’s bloodmark painted on the Israelites’ doors saved their firstborns from the fate of the idolatrous Egyptians’ firstborns.

Re: centering prayer - It has some serious problems, and I agree you don’t want that.

The good news is that there are many forms of contemplative prayer and meditation which are totally A-OK, and much more interesting than “centering prayer,” too. The Jesus Prayer is one of the “quieter” forms of listening to God. There are also forms of prayer that use more overt thought, like lectio divina, meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary, Jesuit use of the imagination and the senses for understanding the Bible, and on and on and on. No matter what form of prayer you use, all prayer tends to become more contemplative as time goes by. (If you keep at it, anyway!)

The late Fr. Dubay’s books and TV shows/EWTN podcasts are quite good introductions to this world of prayer. So is St. Teresa, or even St. Therese. But there are tons and tons and tons of contemplative Catholic saints who were good teachers of prayer.


#6

To avoid confusion and controversy, I should have said deep Contemplative Prayer, based on* The Cloud of Unknowing. *


#7

Any change of heart will affect the psychological makeup of the person, as will any religious experience. All religious* experiences*, are a special category within psychology. If nothing happens psychologically, then nothing happens religiously. The psyche is the soul, mind or spirit.


#8

The heart is usually equivalent to the “will” in the soul, which is the actualizing of love - love being the movement toward union with what is known as a person’s consideration of ultimate good (for some it is God, for others it is something else that is not actually ultimate but they consider it ultimate good).

When you say the change of heart, that would be equivalent to a new estimation of what is ultimately good (or an enhancement of your understanding of how really good it is, etc.) and therefore a more or less intense movement toward union with the beloved (the loved good).

And this change of heart will, indeed, move you “bodily” (the will, through the sensitive powers of the soul) will make the union actual or seek to make it actual in the movements of the physical body (thoughts, physical movement, etc., such as praying, reflection or contemplation, folding hands, tears, speaking, kneeling, looking at an image of Christ, etc.). Emotions and feelings, such as reverence or noticing the location in your forehead of the location of your praying, are movements materially in your bodily consciousness. They are moved from that part of you that is not your body - they are moved from your soul which cannot be sensed, but which has the power to move your body, in or from your will.

You can read about the Catholic understanding of Soul and its interaction with the body in a focused work by Thomas Aquinas called “Quaestiones Disputatae de Anima” (available here: dhspriory.org/thomas/english/QDdeAnima.htm#12 ) or, his much much longer work, the Summa Theologica contains it all dispersed throughout, where you would piece together your understanding of the soul as you came also to a full understanding of God and man. ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.toc.html


#9

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