How To Respond To Someone Who Told You Jesus Speaks To Them

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This is a part of the church in which people who either suffer from demonic possession or genuinely are receiving some sort of private revelation are often met with the utmost cruelty from unbelieving laity. Sometimes the Devil will use the most holy of people as a tool to accomplish a task from laity to high ranking clergy such as the Pope. It happens because God allows it for special reasons. At times it is because the person needs it to form part of their spiritual training but at other times it occurs when the person is simply met with the most unreasonable hatred because we are fighting a spiritual war.

In all truth, the genuine cases are always rare, and because they are rare the genuine ones are often mistaken. They are mistaken for those who are either mentally unwell, spiritually unwell, a combination of both, or neither but are simply intelligent entrepreneurs looking to cash in on the stupidity of some priests and laity obsessed with such topics. You can see from what I’ve just said how confusing this topic is for many priests when approached by someone with a spectacular story.

Even some exorcists can be cruel with how they deal with these cases. I once heard an exorcist Fr.Ripperger give a homily where he describes one such person to his congregation in a homily. He did it in such a condescending tone and to the laughter of his audience when he described a woman who approached him and said she speaks to Jesus. I found this highly inappropriate because whether or not the woman is mentally ill, that kind of approach is not the correct one. One of love and compassion is the right way to do it.

I’ve got my own weight of sins to worry about. I’m not throwing stones at Fr.Ripperger but it was a prime example how most exorcists are flesh and blood like the rest of us and are often subject to human sinful weakness. Often what exorcists do is by the book, but the spiritual world is beyond this and all training and books have their limits. They’re well read and experienced in dealing with the possessed, but this doesn’t make them great spiritual directors. Many mistaken the exorcist for someone who makes a great spiritual director.

He’s been trained and given the power to cast out demons, but that is all. The apostles were given the gift to cast out demons but they still made some grave errors and had their unintelligent moments. Exorcists are no different and while given the power lack the gift of discerning the spirits and even mistaken the gift as meaning being able to tell what kind of spirit a person has. The discernment of the spirits is, as we will have read from the history of the saints, much more than this. I’ve never heard any Church father, saint or person prior to the 20th century ever say that discernment of spirits is being able to recognize a spirit in an exorcism. I’m interested in being corrected on that should you think I’m wrong.

I suppose you could theologically throw it in with the expression “discernment of spirits” and knowing “what demon is what” but I think knowing the names of demons is a distinct gift from the discernment of spirits the fathers talked about. I’m not doubting people have that gift but is it “discernment of spirits” as understood in the Churches history of Sacred Scripture and Tradition? No, I don’t think so.

I’ve digressed a little from the main topic on discernment of spirits. Perhaps I should write a post about that another day. I’m no expert but the subject is of great interest to me.

What to do when someone approaches you with a private revelation or a unique experience that has left something permanent with them the rest of us cannot see? I think we should offer them lots of charity first and foremost. Don’t make fun or light of them in front of anyone either in their presence or use them as a means to have a laugh with any congregation or crowd in order to drive home a point.

I’m certainly no expert but what I do is recommend they see a very spiritual person to help test the spirits a little. I explain that what they’re telling me is wonderful. I will read with a blind and naive sort of faith unless I spot something totally out of the ordinary. I will then instruct them to go to someone within the Church privately to explain what they have and to see if it’s from God or not and whether or not an exorcism may even be needed should it not be from the Lord.

If they press the matter further with me I’ll explain I’m only a lay person and there’s nothing more I can do for them. That’s it. We’re done and with the absence of malice present. What you do not do is laugh at them, tell them they’re crazy. Don’t ignore them or treat them as peculiar or one to avoid. Do not presume to tell them that what they have is not from God. And whatever you do don’t call what they have “Evil” for this is what the Pharisees did with Jesus and he rebuked them for it telling them that anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit like that will not be forgiven either in this life or the next.

Make sure you show them love, because there has been people who tried to reach out and nobody would believe them not even priests. These people then not able to bear the weight of either the demonic possession/oppression or the genuine calling of the Lord having to keep it to themselves ended up in the gutter in such sinful states for want of spiritual direction and love.

The people who sent them there from laity to priests and even misguided exorcists, will answer for their behavior and for the soul of the person they (with the help of the devil) destroyed. Just because God called you through a genuine private revelation of some sort does not mean you cannot fall from grace and lose your soul, however usually genuine cases who do fall from grace will often with the help of the Lord regain spiritual consciousness at some point if the call is genuine God will not allow them to bear too much. There are times when God permits this for the persons spiritual training.

The Devil is always behind the rejection of those whom he fools into thinking they’re speaking with Jesus but he is also behind the rejection of those who genuinely have a gift of locution or other. The reason for this is because he doesn’t want the possessed to be cured and neither does he want the genuine cases to bring their testimony to the Church as it may bring about fruits of conversion depending upon the calling.

I say depending upon the calling because not all genuine cases are either eager or called to speak about their gift or unique experience. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t speak about it either. There is this almost text book behavior by members of the Church to assume that a person who receives locutions or other spiritual gifts should shut up about them if they’re genuine. They believe that these people should prove they’re genuine by remaining quiet and not be so eager to speak about it.

What I say to these people is I use the example of the Samaritan woman at the well. Look at how eager she was in telling everyone she met Jesus and that he told her things no other person ever did. Some of the people did not believe her (no surprises there happens to this day) and many did accept her testimony from the fruit of which came many conversions.

Every person given a spectacular conversion like that of St.Paul is unique and has a different calling from God. Sometimes it’s not necessary for them to tell their story as it may not benefit others. It’s simply between them and Christ as they make waves in the Church and accomplish Gods will in a quiet manner.

Others may in the beginning with such great excitement be eager to tell others, but after much rejection, suddenly are given the grace of clarity by God to realize that since it has not been received well, it’s better to keep it to oneself and never speak of it unless it be to an individual who can receive it. That’s a tough one because these things can be a hard burden to carry. People like that who suffer much persecution need to maintain their prayer life and allow things to take its course and trust that in the end God wins and that those who stifle their testimony God is being glorified from the suffering they’ve received at the hands of such obstinate people.

We’ve just spoke about souls whose testimony is somewhat optional, but then there are others like Vassula Ryden, who, whether or not they like it, are sent out by God to prophesy around the world and tell everyone regardless of the reaction be it positive or negative. Therefore such rare occurrences are rich in their unique appearance and no one seer and their assignment is ever the same.

For example the Medjugorje visionary Vicka is always smiling and to the world her facial expressions and demeanor appear a little eccentric, but Maria the visionary is more down to earth and she is not as distinct or eccentric in her behavior. She’s a simple housewife and that’s that. She blends in with the crowd a little more.

You see? Both are called by God yet the two are not the same and have reacted to the touch of the Holy Spirit differently.

Yes, the whole private revelation thing is a bit of minefield especially for those laity like ourselves who are always open to having the wool pulled over our eyes. Even priests and Bishops can be easily fooled. It’s a tricky subject and in this post I had no desire to presume to teach you how to discern between true and false. This post was mainly to deal with how we should approach such people be they genuine or not and to always do so in charity. The burden is so great that some of them don’t want it and would like to be ordinary just like you.

It was also a post to try and make you see it from the person who is either receiving gifts from Jesus or has a demonic possession point of view. What they need is your love, not your misguided self styled expertise on the matter. Give them love and guidance remembering always that you are looking at Christ when you look at them.

Send them to the right people. If they’re joyous and seem a little eccentric because they have not quite got over the novelty of what happened them and are mere spiritual beginners on the path like St.Paul once was, learn to jump out of your comfort zone, dance and join in with their joy like those people did with the Samaritan woman at Jacobs well. They may be mentally unstable or they may have encountered the demonic. Who cares? In that moment dance for joy with them and the Holy Spirit will reveal all to both of you eventually as to the source of such things in time.

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