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Divine Revelation

09 Jan 2017, by Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA in Doctrines

divine-revealationYesterday the Catholic Church celebrated the Epiphany of the Lord, a solemnity the Church celebrates every second Sunday of Christmas. It is a celebration of Divine revelation, as you must have heard in homilies preached in our parishes. But the word ‘revelation’ about Divine revelation has been so much abused or misunderstood today, so many Christians now see every dream as Divine revelation. There’s no doubt that God reveals things through dreams; he revealed things to Joseph, the husband of Mary, through dreams and did the same to some others in the bible. But one has to be very careful because the devil can disguise himself as the angel of light (2Cor. 11:14) to probably manipulate your dreams or give certain revelations that may appear as God’s. So also are false prophetic utterances and revelations aimed at misleading God’s children.

In light of this possibility, the Catholic Church teaches that private revelations do not belong to the deposit of faith. Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognised by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help leave more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations what constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church. CCC 67.

God in history has revealed himself in various ways and at various times; he created Adam from dust, and from him, he created Eve and revealed himself to them. Through Noah, he reveals his power to save, to restore, and foreshadowed the coming of Christ the everlasting Ark who will gather the righteous into heaven. He chose Abraham and formed the people of Israel into which Christ, the “mediator, and fullness of All Revelation,” was born. In him is the fullness of revelation, and every other revelation must be subject to him because no one has the role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation.

The Church’s magisterium has the authority from Christ through the apostolic succession to transmit Divine Revelations, so there is no room for private revelation unless they are investigated and approved by the Church’s magisterium guided by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Catholic Church is the custodian of the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Watch and do not be deceived by false revelations.