Why would there be a need to test the spirits? The evil ones prefer to remain hidden and if they are seen or exposed, its because God allows it. Why would God allow evil spirits to.appear as angels of light to saints or to visionaries or anyone for that matter, in an attempt to confuse them?
For example, certain apparitions which aim to contradict or thwart the message of real apparitions like Fatima. Why would God allow that?
from 1John 4… Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world……………6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.
And see the example of St. Paul:
Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
So the HS would lead one to obedience and submission to church authority. This is one criteria the Church uses in knowing if claims of apparitions are true or not.
Why does God allow evil at all? Your question is no different than the problem of evil. The answer is to bring about a greater good which we cannot have foreseen. The answer is, we don’t know, and it’s not our business to know.
I would question that assumption. I would say the evil ones prefer whatever is most advantageous to leading people astray. Sometimes that is remaining hidden. Sometimes not. Although, appearing as a false vision would still be “hiding”, no? It’s not as though they are appearing in their true form as vicious demons.
As to why God allows them to engage in such charades, that’s a tougher question to answer. Here’s what the Catechism says:
CCC 395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God’s reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature- to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.” [Rom 8:28]
By calling it a “great mystery”, they kind of dodge the question. :o We don’t really know for certain. I would venture to say that a lot of it has to do with free will (even the free will of the fallen angels). God doesn’t squish those who do not choose Him instantaneously. That would effectively eliminate any opposition and somewhat undermine free will. If the choice is between God and being immediately snuffed out of existence, our choice for Him would be one borne out of fear rather than love. And that wouldn’t be a free choice.
(From goodreads.com) After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel
If a person is convinced from a preternatural encounter in the guise of an angel of light, that what the apparitions instructs is Truth, that has the potential for real damage. Such an encounter must be powerful and so conving. I wonder why God would allow Himself to be misrepresented to such a degree?
Yes I guess appearing as an angel of light is still hiding. If they appeared as the BVM and said God would send a sign before your death so you’d have a chance to repent, this sounds so convincing and even merciful. If such a peraon were to believe this though, they’d be horribly mistaken, there is.no such guarantee.
That soul would be in serious danger. I wonder if God would understand.
God understands perfectly. Our understanding does not. Obedience to legitimate Church teaching is the way to go.
In your above example, if the person prayed and pondered over such a manifestation and the message that was conveyed…they would know it is false. God sending a sign before our death so the person could repent? What an ungodly statement. We should always be ready to die, and not presumptuous that we can turn on the grace of repentance like a light switch when we need it.