Oct 24 2009
With the permission of my spiritual director, I add this page to my blog. It is the foreword he wrote for my book and is a solid teaching on private revelation and its place in our journey of faith. Please pray for Fr. Ray and for all priests.
God bless you all.
The author of this book is known to me as a member of one of the parishes I have served. I have no reason to doubt her genuineness and integrity. She is a faithful member of the Church and also a member of a lay movement called the Brothers and Sisters of Penance of St. Francis.
The reason I have accepted to write the foreword to her book is first and foremost because what is offered is the Word of God, and a given opportunity to nourish oneself with that Word. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph # 104 states:
“In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God’.1 ‘In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.’ ”2
But what about the reflections, which the author supposedly receives from Jesus or Mary? I would compare these to what happens with what is called lectio divina. In this method, one meditates on a text of Scripture and allows the Lord to reveal the meaning of the text according to the need of the person at that moment of his or her journey.
The question might be asked, “Are the words found in the reflections to be considered coming from the Lord, as in public revelation, that is, Scripture?” The answer is that one cannot treat private revelations in the same way as public revelation. What value then are these words that may be inspired by Jesus? Let the catechism answer this question:
“Throughout the ages, there have been so-called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized 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 live more fully by it in a certain period of history.”3
You may wish to know my own opinion as to the value of these revelations. I see them as a somewhat challenging way to reflect on what the Lord is wanting to tell us through the Sacred Scriptures. As for those who read them may they, as I hope, find inspiration to grow in their faith, hope and charity.
Fr. Ray Guimond
1 1 Thessalonians 2:13
2 Dei Verbum
3 Catechism of the Catholic Church # 67