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Theology of Revelation

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Our Lady of Laus
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The Theology of Revelation is the sacred science (or sacred study and knowledge) of God in Revelation, as well as in other revelations which he gives us.[1] This theology deals principally with Revelation, but also with other revelations, known as private revelations.[2] God created man to know, love and serve him,[3] and as such the theology of revelation is so important to every Christian that it is the first sacred science they learn - "I believe in God, the Father Almighty...", "We believe in One God, the Father, the Almighty..."[4] - and is so important to every man that, as part of Revelation, God created the world to reflect his Goodness,[5] created each person with a desire to know the truth,[6] became man to be man's teacher and model[7] and to be the fullness and mediator of Revelation,[8] and commanded the Catholic Church to teach all nations about his teachings.[9]

Divine RevelationEdit

Revelation, also known as Divine Revelation, Public Revelation, Sacred Deposit of the Faith, or the Rule of Faith, is the Sacred Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition, the written and unwritten Word of God,[10] and is Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God made man.[11]

Revelation is the self-communication of God (Divine)[12] to all men (Public)[13] and is the sum of all divine truths (Sacred Deposit),[14] and the measure of the faith (Rule).[15] Revelation must be lived by all Catholics.[16]

The written Word of God or the Sacred Scriptures or the Bible is the collection of 73 sacred books,[17] which were written by God through human authors[18] and are interpreted by God through the Magisterium.[19] When Jesus Christ or the Apostles speak of the Scriptures in the Gospels and Epistles, they refer to the Old Testament.[20]

The unwritten Word of God or the Apostolic Tradition or the Tradition of the Church is the living transmission[21] of the written Word by God through the Apostles and their successors. The local traditions of particular churches are not Sacred Tradition itself but are a part of Sacred Tradition.[22]

Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate, has joined God and man in his Divine Person,[23] has fulfilled the Old Testament,[24] has completed and perfected Revelation,[25] has instituted the New Covenant,[26] and has said everything there is be said about God.[27] He is the fullness and mediator of Revelation,[28] the definitive Revelation.[29]

The Word of God and the Word of God incarnate support and nourish the Church and give it faith and eternal life.[30] They are necessary for salvation[31] and for knowing and understanding more deeply justice, morality, and the truth.[32][33][34] In short, they are the preeminent way to know God.[35]

Revelation has Divine Authority,[36][37] whereby Catholics give the full assent of faith to Revelation.[38] Catholics believe Revelation based on twelve proofs:[39] the creation,[40] the ten commandments,[41] the plan of salvation,[42] the Mercy of God,[43] the creation of man in God's Image and Likeness,[44] the virginity of the Virgin Mary,[45] the new creation,[46] the reality of sin,[47] the Church, miracles and prophecies,[48] the resurrection of the body,[49] and - the definitive Proof - Jesus Christ.[50]

Revelation ended with the death of the Apostles,[51][52] and there will not be any new Revelation from God.[53] This both means that God now leads the Church into a deeper understanding of Revelation through private revelations,[54] according to his promise of leading the Church into all truths,[55] and means that no private revelation is an obligation,[56] whereby no one can disobey the Church in favor of obeying a private revelation.[57]

Private RevelationEdit

Private revelation, also known as personal revelation, is a message from God, sometimes sent through a saint or an angel,[58] that helps people live more fully by Revelation at a certain time. It can sometimes include prophecies or new devotions, deepen older devotions or emphasize divine truths.[59]

When a message is judged as being worthy of belief by the local bishop, it is a private revelation.[60] A private revelation conforms completely with the Catholic Faith and it may be published and given devotion by the faithful.[61]

Before being judged as worthy of belief, a message is an alleged revelation or supposed revelation. The local bishop, because he has, as the vicar of Christ, the right and duty to judge all material concerning faith or morals,[62] must discern a message according to the practice of Norme Congregationis.[63]

A bishop discerns the fruits of an alleged revelation with divine assistance, and his judgment falls under the Ordinary Magisterium of a bishop, which is authoritive but not infallible yet requires the religious submission of mind and will.[64]

Good fruits include moral certainty, good character (humility, obedience, etc.), conformity to the Catholic Faith, and spiritual fruits (prayer, conversion, charity, etc.). Bad fruits include glaring errors about the event, bad character (sexual immorality, disobedience, etc.), doctrinal errors, monetary pursuit, and mental illness, manipulation,[65] demonic possession,[66] and drug abuse.[67]

Because a private revelation is free of doctrinal errors, it can be an apparition, a vision, a locution, or an inspiration from God.[68] But it cannot be occultism, such as spiritism, automatic writing, psychic powers, palm reading, horoscopes, astrology, Onji boards, voodoo, magic, witchcraft, divinization, or conjuring the dead.[69]

If the local bishop finds any bad fruit, he gives the message a negative judgment: condemnation. A condemned revelation may not be published or given devotion by the faithful, since the faithful are obligated not to endanger their faith or morals.[70] However, the bishop or his successor could overturn a previous judgment, since private revelation has human authority or human faith (that is, a human person received the revelation)[71] and people can make mistakes.[72]

Contrary to popular belief, the Church has not authorized the faithful to publish alleged revelations without the bishop's positive judgment[73] and the Church does not teach that a private revelation is a priority in Christian life.[74] No private revelation is a part of Revelation and no private revelation can equal, replace, substitute, surpass, correct, improve, fulfill, perfect, or complete Revelation, and the Church cannot accept the "revelations" of certain non-Christian religions and cults which claim otherwise.[75]

Universal ApprovalEdit

These are apparitions which have received the approval of the local bishop and the approval of the Pope, and therefore the full approval of the Church:

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe or Mother of the True God (1531) to Saint Juan Diego.[76]
  • Our Lady of Laus or Refuge of Sinners (between 1664 and 1718) to Servant of God Benoite Rencurel[77]
  • Our Lord of Monial or Sacred Heart (1671-1675) to Saint Margaret Mary[78]
  • Our Lady of Fatima or Lady of the Rosary (1917) to Servant of God Lucia Santos and Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto[80]
  • Our Lord of Vilnius or King of Mercy (1930-1938) to Saint Faustina Kowalska[81]

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14580a.htm
  2. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13001a.htm
  3. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p6.htm#358
  4. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/credo.htm
  5. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p5.htm#337
  6. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a8.htm#2467
  7. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p1.htm#458
  8. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#65
  9. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm#849
  10. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#80
  11. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#65
  12. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm
  13. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#66
  14. Dei Verbum, 10. Sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church.
  15. Dei Verbum, 21. She has always maintained them, and continues to do so, together with sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of faith, since, as inspired by God and committed once and for all to writing, they impart the word of God Himself without change, and make the voice of the Holy Spirit resound in the words of the prophets and Apostles.
  16. Dei Verbum, 21 ...and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life.
  17. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#120
  18. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#II
  19. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#85
  20. The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, 4 (Note: Contrary to misconception, this is not a document of the Magisterium)
  21. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#78
  22. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#81
  23. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p1.htm#480
  24. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s2a1.htm#2763
  25. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#III
  26. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c1a3.htm#1410
  27. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#65
  28. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#65
  29. Verbum Domini, 14. He who ‘has made God known’ (Jn 1:18) is the one, definitive word given to mankind”.
  30. Dei Verbum, 21 ...and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life.
  31. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a2.htm#74
  32. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c3a1.htm#1960
  33. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c1.htm#38
  34. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a7.htm#2419
  35. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#50
  36. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#107
  37. Divino Afflante Spiritu ...this solemn definition of Catholic doctrine, by which such divine authority is claimed for the "entire books with all their parts" as to secure freedom from any error whatsoever,...
  38. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm#143
  39. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm#156
  40. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p4.htm#287
  41. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2.htm#2060
  42. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#50
  43. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm#1846
  44. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a1.htm#1701
  45. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm#502
  46. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm#1048
  47. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm#386
  48. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c3a1.htm#156
  49. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a11.htm#992
  50. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#124
  51. Baltimore Catechism, 23i. Divine Tradition is the unwritten word of God – that is, truths revealed by God, though not written in the Bible, and given to the Church through word of mouth by Jesus Christ or by the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
  52. Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze Public Revelation was concluded with the death of the last of the Apostles, Saint John.
  53. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#66
  54. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#67
  55. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a8.htm#2466
  56. Verbum Domini, 14. It is a help which is proffered, but its use is not obligatory.
  57. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a4.htm#2242
  58. Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints can appear to anyone, as Divine Providence may decide.
  59. Verbum Domini, 14. A private revelation can introduce new emphases, give rise to new forms of piety, or deepen older ones. It can have a certain prophetic character (cf. 1 Th 5:19-21) and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the Gospel at a certain time; consequently it should not be treated lightly.
  60. Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze If such apparitions or locutions are genuine, they are called private revelations.
  61. Verbum Domini, 14. Ecclesiastical approval of a private revelation essentially means that its message contains nothing contrary to faith and morals; it is licit to make it public and the faithful are authorized to give to it their prudent adhesion.
  62. Code of Canon Law, Can. 823
    • Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, 28 Let those who have so unfortunately failed in their duty, recall to their minds again and again, that the authority of those whom "the Holy Spirit hath placed as Bishops to rule the Church of God" (Acts xx. 28) is a divine authority. Let them remember that if, as we have seen, those who resist any legitimate authority, resist God, much more impiously do they act who refuse to obey the Bishop, whom God has consecrated with a special character by the exercise of His power.
  63. http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/appdisce/cdftexte.html
  64. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p4.htm#892
  65. http://www.theotokos.org.uk/pages/appdisce/cdftexte.html
  66. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c4a1.htm#1673
  67. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a5.htm#2291
  68. Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze ...and God can send visions or thoughts and locutions to anyone he wishes.
  69. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11197b.htm
  70. Italian text published, together with the Latin, on L'Osservatore Romano of 15 June 1966. "Haec S. Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, facto verbo cum Beatissimo Patre, nuntiat Indicem suum vigorem moralem servare, quatenus Christifidelium conscientiam docet, ut ab illis scriptis, ipso iure naturali exigente, caveant, quae fidem ac bonos mores in discrimen adducere possint; eundem tamen non amplius vim legis ecclesiasticae habere cum adiectis censuris" (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 58 (1966), p. 445)
  71. The Message of Fatima, 121. "An assent of Catholic faith is not due to revelations approved in this way; it is not even possible. These revelations seek rather an assent of human faith in keeping with the requirements of prudence, which puts them before us as probable and credible to piety"
  72. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a1.htm#1714
  73. Communique on Vassula Ryden by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, November 29, 1996. With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that: 1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the 'Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,' and said that - once relative censures were lifted - the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained. 2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right 'to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication', remains valid. 3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
  74. Apparitions, Visions, Locutions, and Cardinal Arinze. It is therefore a mistake if a Christian now makes a reported apparition a central event in Christian life, or a test of those who are fervent Christians.
  75. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a1.htm#67
  76. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/2002/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_20020731_exaltavit-humiles_lt.html
  77. Vatican recognizes Marian apparition in France During the Mass, attended by Roman Curia officials including Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, Bishop de Falco noted these are the first Marian apparitions to be approved in the 21st century by the Vatican and the Church in France.
  78. Miserentissimus Redemptor It is no wonder, therefore, that Our Predecessors have constantly defended this most approved form of devotion from the censures of calumniators, and have extolled it with high praise and promoted it very zealously, as the needs of time and circumstance demanded.
  79. Le Pelerinage de Lourdes "What the Sovereign Pontiff defined in Rome through his infallible Magisterium, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, blessed among all women, wanted to confirm by her own words, it seems, when shortly afterward she manifested herself by a famous apparition at the grotto of Massabielle..."
  80. The Message of Fatima Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984”: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.
  81. Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called "Divine Mercy Sunday".
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