Is my friend's ability to see the past and future sinful?

By December 3, 2014 7 Comments

Full Question

A Catholic friend sometimes has psychic flashes of the past, the future, and of people’s souls. This person did not seek this ability and has no control over it. Is it a sin?


A person is not morally culpable for things he does not will. Only if one deliberately seeks out knowledge of the past or future through occult means, or if one puts groundless faith in supernatural or occult phenomena is there a problem. The phenomenon that your friend is experiencing might not be occult but a form of private revelation. He should be careful, however, not to discuss this ability with impressionable souls. Sharing such knowledge with those who do not understand could be a cause of scandal. There may also be a danger that this person may be tempted to develop his supernatural abilities or exploit this knowledge. For that reason, I recommend that this person seek assistance from an orthodox and balanced confessor or spiritual director for help in dealing with this phenomenon in a manner that is in keeping with his Catholic faith.



  • emily ward says:

    Gifts of prophesy are mentioned in the bible, over and over. Many saints that I have read about have had miraculous experiences also, like Saint Bernadette with the virgin Mary. It is probably best to keep such experiences between yourself and God, because, not only will the majority of people ,clergy and others, not really believe you, but it might discredit your standing with the church, even though you will know you are telling the truth. Even Jesus, when he performed those healing miracles told those who saw, not to tell others, and he knew what he was doing when he said that, yet his miracles are forever on the tongues of his followers. You may want to share your experiences because they are overwhelming, but , be advised to share only with those closest to you whom you can trust, as many will look upon your miraculous experiences as occult even though you know they are not. If your gift ( and it is a gift) has a purpose, God will show you that purpose in time, pray on it and ask his guidance and trust in him to show you, who can be trusted.
    There have been people in the past who have tried to share their gifts, even to make a profit from them, but too many of them ended up living as a recluse, they were hounded by the public or exploited by the press, or labelled as a heathen and eventually, no one benefited from their gift.
    In the story of St Bernadette,no one wanted to believe her either, but God allowed a miracle to happen in front of all those who doubted her.
    Having a gift does not make a saint, necessarily, but each gift we are given, is from God, so it should be used for his purposes.

    • Bumbie says:

      Thank you. Emily I have this gift only used it to help others I suffer from guilt but I think God approves for I have help many
      From dying of dying of cancer , accidents etc

    • lg says:

      Amen, the gift of prophesy is given by God and not of one’s will. Many clergy do not understand if they are not gifted so it’s hard to share with anyone or to have a spiritual director who understands. They will sim!ply dismiss it as delusional and you know otherwise. Pray to Jesus or do some reading on your own. There are many good spiritual writers, particularly from the Jesuits whom I find helpful in gaining spiritual insight.

  • sola says:

    Is catholic church in support of masturbation?

  • I would support Emily on this question. Sola, this is not the place to ask such a question but I will answer it for you: No

  • ogechi says:

    Is there anything like having the gift of dreams? And is it acceptable in catholic church?

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