Why the Supernatural?
The Church is the deposit of faith, in which all the riches of truth regarding faith and practice are to be had; all we must do is take and read. So why approved Marian apparitions? Why does God come to us in dreams, visions, locutions? Because God loves to visit with His people.
The Kingdom is dynamic not static; it is living and active. It is the only place I know that is ultimate reality that will never pass away. Yet we all encounter this Kingdom through subjective experience. If Christianity is anything, it is both objectively true, whether we believe it or not, and can be encountered through the power of the Holy Spirit through our experiences.
I could cut and paste an encyclical on the dangers of freemasonry for example. It is true in and of itself, which is good, but would it be what the Lord would have me share? Is this what the Holy Spirit wants me to communicate?
You may be a teacher with a gift for Catechism instruction, you may have the gift of helps, or the gift of management, pastor, prophet, quiet intercession; the list goes on and on. We are a living body of life communicating heaven as we see through a glass darkly. Every member fulfills the task given to each for the building up of the body of Christ, for the good of its members.
Some grace gifts may seem to others as supernatural, but in truth any gift given under the power of the Holy Spirit is supernatural. It would seem that gifts given that have a more ordinary element are more readily accepted, that is, it is a part of the world in which we are readily familiar.
My first born son helps with the other kids. He goes and vacuums the church. My son prays the rosary; he is filled with ecstatic joy while praying the rosary. And my son sees a vision of Hell.
If you were to ask him which encounter was from God, he would mention the last two. This is not because the other things were not God, but the subjective impact the latter made on him was of particular importance, even traumatic, and brought abrupt change and personal growth.
Everything in season, Papal pronouncements given in a particular time have great importance. They are objective truth worthy of the assent of faith. But there is another dimension to them that is of great importance that we should take hold of–the timing of these words for us and the world. Objective truth is not enough; we need a timely word to be pronounced to us in season, an objective voice speaking a prophetic word–what a gift, what a treasure!
Councils are even more amazing, casting a vision statement and tactics under the guidance of God! To flush out in the open, where do you see yourself, not in years but rather in generations. We are a blessed people!
The Church gives us the fullness of faith, as a living breathing community directing the faith through councils held, and giving us timely prophetic words in season. I love the Catholic Church!
We as members of this panoramic vision have all a part to play in this pilgrim church.
We may not have the gift of infallibility, but never the less God thinks we’re worth the risk. If He can use Balaam’s ass, He can use me. Now unless I cut and paste everything I type, it is subjective, even subject to error. I could even bring about error by giving objective truth at the wrong time, like reading an epistle of Paul in the middle of choir practice. I could impose my gift on others at the wrong time and in the wrong place, even with the right motives. God knows this and yet still gives the gift.
So why be subjective at all? Why not just read official Catholic dogma. Because we are human persons, with human dignity, created in the image of God. And with that, comes intellect, imagination and a heart ready to express who and what we are, and what we have seen regarding the Kingdom of God. God delights in our participation in the Body of Christ.
I fully agree with essentially the entire post.
Had it not been for many subjective experiences [which Bekah may recall from my good old luminousmiseries blog and subequent writing] my own conversion and entrance into the Church would likely have been greatly impeded. In fact I just finished walking a process over many months that was specifically borne of subjective experience under the guidance of Spiritual Direction. It has not gone the way we thought it all might but it was all God speaking.
I am fully in accord with these experiences when rightly ordered and weighted.
Art and poetry, my primary passions after my faith. are to a great extent all about subjectively perceiving objective truth, as you note from the scriptures – to see, “through a glass darkly.”
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