Religious Experiences


#1

When a non-Catholic (whether they be an Protestant, Mormon, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.) has a religious experience within their faith, what would you say the source of this experience is? Does it come from God, or Satan, or is it just them fooling themselves?


#2

You can add Catholic to the list and my answer is I don’t know, and it would be judgemental for me to say definitively.


#3

Obviously, if it is an authentic religious experience, it comes from God (just as if one of those listed --or a Catholic for that matter – has an in-authentic experience, it does not come from God).

All religions are a manifestation of man’s search for meaning and as a search for God, so a certain grace of religious experience by anyone seeking God is always possible (read Romans chapter 1 and Wisdom chapter 13). God rewards all those who sincerely seek him and try to please him in well doing according to the light given him, in however an imperfect manner. The advantage the Catholic has is, since Catholicism contains the fullness of truth as far as it has been revealed to man, he or she has more tools to discern whether any given religious experience is authentic or not.


#4

I think it would depend on the effect the experience had. That is the same for those within the Catholic faith as well.

It should make one seek God more in Jesus Christ. Lead to a more virtuous life, or set one’s feet on the right path, that is becoming closer to God through Christ. Depending on the circumstances, to the Catholic Church.

I had an extraordinary experience as a non-Catholic at the first Mass I attended. I knew nothing about the Catholic understanding of Eucharist or what was going on. But the experience I had which was Eucharistic made me quickly decide to be Catholic.

I know that in Muslim countries the Holy Spirit has provided extraordinary means of conversion. But Catholic Churches and Priests are not possible in those instances. These Christians risk there lives and must hide their faith. God supports them through often a Biblical witness. I believe God will provide what is lacking for them at death. They are His in their hearts that is the main thing.:slight_smile:


#5

What? You think God* only* imparts His grace and guidance on Catholics. That seems like a pretty arrogant assumption.


#6

Agreed.


#7

Awake is asking what other Catholics think, not making any assumptions at all that I can see, especially not of the kind you’re implying.


#8

Theologically I believe Catholicism is the correct religion… As far as experiences go I think it is foolish to limit G-d… Anyone alive can experience G-d, they might be wrong about the details but who cares? I don’t :wink:


#9

I would say the same rules of discernment apply–does the experience bring comfort or discord, does it affirm God’s will or lead away from it, does it lead to advancement in virtue in holiness or the opposite, as examples. Certainly God can speak to whom he wishes through whatever means he wishes, and no doubt uses the wish to know him, expressed although imperfectly in other religions, to answer that call. If God cannot speak authentically to non-Catholics, that means they have no hope of conversion, which we know is not true.


#10

So if a person is drawn more deeply into their non-Catholic religion, it can still be considered from God?


#11

The current pluralistic/multicultural mind struggles with this concept - that Truth may come only from Judeo-Christianity fully revealed in Jesus Christ.

As Jesus said - ‘Salvation comes from the Jews’.

Further consider the Exodus. Read that great truth in the Hebrew scriptures. God took Israel out of Egypt so that they could give Him true worship.

They had to leave Egypt. A religious pluralism which says that Truth is in all religions - would say God was wrong, that the fullness of truth was to be found IN Egypt.

Our culture also prefers non-distinction among mankind. Mass man. God has revealed that there are distinctions and order.

This order can be seen here. It is the foundation of logical thought that two opposites at the same time cannot be true.

So the answer to your question, is no. God does not reveal Himself (as Jesus says, And those to whom God chooses to reveal Him. That is Jesus Christ) and at the same time lead one away from Truth of who He is.

The journey may be complicated. One is free to discount any invitation from God. St Teresa and St John of the Cross taught us that the evil one is able to simulate all spiritual experiences except those which create HUMILITY and place you at the feet of Christ.

If you have received a spiritual experience the truth of what it means is immediately given. In that instance you know. There is no need to ruminate and wonder at it. If it is not leading you to a deeper relationship with Christ - renounce it. God won’t mind at all. It is a matter of spiritual maturity not to rely on spiritual experiences. We walk by faith not by sight.

If you are struggling with anything, just tell God you are and ask Him to provide for you. Do not trust yourself. Don’t make decisions in a ‘desolate’ state of mind. Do nothing, but pray and wait. Don’t stop going to Mass even if that is a tremendous battle.

Believe me your soul depends on it. I have been there and failed. By God’s grace I was given another chance.

It may be that God is testing you in this matter. If your faithfulness fails you, nothing more will be forthcoming from God. Perhaps he has great things in mind for you, so don’t fail Him in this.

The cost of God’s Son is the dearest thing to God’s heart. Nothing matters more to God than how you place yourself in relation to Jesus.

Do not worry about other religions. We do not know God’s plan. But perhaps Biblical truth could support the idea that the FAITHFULNESS of those to whom Christ has been revealed may help the unchosen brother.

It is God’s business.


#12

I’m not doubting you, but where does Jesus say this?


#13

Matthew 11 verse 27.

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Jesus continually pointed to Himself as the one who was God. Who has seen me has seen the Father. I am in the Father and the Father is in me. (Philip and Jesus at the Last Supper).

Only Jesus, the Son of God, can give us knowledge of the Father: He alone, as God’s Word, is by nature the revealer of God.

God has a plan for all mankind. He is kind and just. He is leading you to God through Jesus. This is what has been revealed in your life but always the world wants to own us.


#14

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