A distinction needs to be made here because it relates to all that is contained in this website honoring God the Father. The distinction is with regard to the relationship between “devotions” and “dedication.”
Devotions can come and go, or else there is a difference in appeal, whereas dedicaton is not an option. Any study in spirituality is to foster and enhance one’s dedication to a particular truth. That also goes in fostering or deepening our relationship with God. Therefore, some thoughts on devotion and devotions are in order here, because they are intimately connected to our relationship with the Father. However they need to be understood within the broader and more important subject of dedication. There are several Devotions made available on this website, and their purpose is to help deepen one’s dedication to the Father. These devotions come out of what is termed private revelations, and so there needs to be prudent discernment in our approach to them.
The amount of material available regarding discernment for private revelations is daunting, and to try and condense it for the present purpose of these considerations is even more so. Therefore, a very modest attempt follows below with the added recommendation that one use the available resources on the internet. The inclusion of the devotions on this website is governed by the following criteria:
- That they are properly guided under Church norms. That is, the recipient is under authentic spiritual direction. St. Margaret Mary was told by Our Lord, “Listen, My Daughter, and do not lightly believe and trust every spirit, for satan is angry and will try to deceive you. So do nothing without the approval of those who guide you. Being thus under the authority of obedience, his efforts against you will be in vain, for he has no power over the obedient” (Autobiography, #57).
- The recipient shows themselves to be solid in their own personal spirituality and loyalty to the Church.
- There are no signs of self-aggrandizement or self-serving.
- Has not received formal disapproval from proper ecclesiastical authority. Even though such a decision does not ipso facto render a private revelation false, it does require that one obey the decision of the local Ordinary. Such is especially true regarding the recipient.
All of the above bring up another consideration, a very powerful one: the Gamaliel Principle. In the Acts of the Apostles, there is the incident where Peter and John are on trial with the Jewish authorities for preaching the Gospel. In face of all the accusations, Peter and John were actually on the brink of being sentenced to death. One of the members of the Sanhedrin whose name was Gamaliel made an intervention in the discussion, that resulted in the cessation of their trial. To quote Gamaliel’s words directly from Scripture:
“But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago rose up, Theudas claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. In that case you may even be found fighting against God.” They were convinced by him, and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged . . . As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah” (Acts 5:34-39).
Gamaliel was appealing to the fact that, in giving time to this new development of Christianity, it would either self-destruct or flourish, depending on whether it was “God’s initiative” or not. It was also important to do this, for the possibility existed of opposing God himself. Therefore, in relation to private revelations and with all the other criteria intact, it behooves us to allow a certain ‘grace period,’ to determine whether the phenomenon is fruitful in a Godly way. However, all of this does not eliminate the scenario that in the end a messenger/message may be disapproved of, only to be later revisited; and even after an extensive amount of time, obtain a positive outcome. In fact, precisely such an occurrence happened to the revelations given to St. Faustina regarding the Divine Mercy Devotion, after close to 20 years of prohibition.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that the above material will serve to deepen the reader’s dedication to God and His Church because, like love, it cannot be overdone. Dedication encompasses one’s whole life in view of the commandments and teachings of Jesus given on Sinai and the Mount of Beatitudes respectively.
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The decree of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, A.A.S.58, 1186 (approved by Pope Paul VI on October 14, 1966) states that the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are no longer required on publications that deal with private revelations, provided that they contain nothing contrary to faith and morals.
“In cases which concern private revelations, it is better to believe than not to believe, for if you believe and it is proven true, you will be happy that you have believed because our Holy Mother asked it. If you believe and it should be proven false, you will receive all blessings as if it had been true, because you believed it to be true” (Pope Urban VIII, 1623-44).
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophetic utterances. Test everything, retain what is good* (1 Thes. 5:19).
Obedience to the teaching magisterium is the guiding principle of this website. If any material presented here, for what ever reason, does not come under the guidelines of Holy Mother Church, it will be eliminated.