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How to tell if it’s God’s voice, an illusion, or just ego?

Disposition

The disposition of the person receiving the apparition is what’s to be considered first. If they are rigid, closed, and very hostile to other interpretations, then maybe they’re not hearing from God after all. Anyone who is mentally healthy, hears a voice or sees a vision, and is tuned to God will know there are many explanations of the phenomenon. Most times, when the person has no freedom and is open to the possibility they do not hear what they think, they may be suffering from some mental or emotional problems and not getting any spiritual visitation. Resistance to other explanations, self-defense, and self-faith in such matters is dangerous and a bad sign. Anyone who is healthy and is open to God will consider other possibilities, too, before even slightly thinking of a spiritual explanation. They must go from natural to the supernatural.

Orientation; Enmity

Do you remember the story of St Faustina? The stories of all the Saints who had the gift of visions can help us a lot in this case. However, Christ expressly told Faustina that she must follow the counsel of her spiritual director even when it was different from that of Christ himself. Most of the time, people who claim to see visions tend to become proud and stubborn to the authority of the Church hierarchy.

A Story

There was a young man in my childhood neighborhood, was from my parish and was part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. At one point, this man was said to be able to see visions and perform miracles. However, he later began a “ministry” outside of the regular meetings of the Church group mentioned above. It went even further: when the Bishop of the diocese called him to order, gave him directives, he refused and believed rather in his own visions. He later left the Church, started his own quasi-church and many people flocked to him.

Then one day, he just disappeared. At that time, we started hearing many rumors of how he was caught talking to something that looked like a vulture, which was why he ran away. Yeah, I realize many wouldn’t even think this is possible, and I am one of those, but the lesson is those who hear from God accept the Church. Or at least those who hear from God and are on the heavenly path listen to Mother Church. They would not see those who question or test the spirit speaking to them as personal enemies or even God’s enemies. They see them as well-meaning people who want to know the truth. It is very dangerous when such people start thinking they’re God’s definitive voice on earth, and therefore anyone who goes against them goes against God. It reminds me of my saying:

“It is not always about who you think you are; someone once thought he was God, now he is Satan.”

Warning: the devil can disguise as heavenly

There have been stories of many saints who the master of hell visited in the guise of Christ, Mary, and other Saints. However, one of the things that always helped them was, they were able to test these spirits. Whenever a saint is counseled to disobey an order, they’d know for certain it wasn’t God speaking. Whenever the apparition countered any predefined Catholic Doctrine or spoke ill of the Pope or the Bishops in communion with him, they knew this was proof of the presence of the Evil One. They always listened to the counsel and advice of their spiritual fathers. They were always open to the fact that it could be safer to doubt than believe in the authenticity of their visions.

Tough advice

St Francis the Sales is known to counsel his proteges to ask God to take away such gifts. They are unnecessary for salvation and can even cause some immature people to fall out of faith by becoming proud. I am one of those who have taught this. There have been times when I heard weird voices, and all I did was ignore them, and they later went away. The reason is, I am one of those who vehemently teach that it might be unhealthier than healthy to encourage such a gift. And I believe too that it might be presumptuous or at least slightly sinful to desire such extraordinary gifts.

I want to lead an everyday life, no confusion, no need for headaches. With an eye on God and the other on his works on earth, there won’t be a need to start stressing my heart about the meanings of voices and visions.

Finally; more thoughts on the matter:

  • Any vision or voice that tells you to go off on your own isn’t from God. God always gathers; he never scatters.
  • Any vision or voice that encourages enmity and quarrel isn’t from God. Therefore, God doesn’t tell people the evil others are doing so they’d hate them. God isn’t a spy.
  • God would never encourage you to hate Mary or the Saints.
  • God would never encourage anything sinful (Goes without saying).
  • God would never indirectly or directly dissuade you from praying.
  • God would never tell you not to help others.

Anything God tells you must be to love, be a good Catholic, and pray for the Pope and the Church. Anything remotely contrary to these isn’t from God. It would be best if you also had an experienced priest to help guide and counsel you.

How to tell if it’s God’s voice, an illusion, or just ego?

How to tell if it’s God’s voice, an illusion, or just ego?

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