Choose a topic from Part 2B:

172. The Cause of Prophecy

1. The knowledge of the genuine prophet cannot beaccounted for by any natural power in himself. This knowledge isfrom God. It is revealed knowledge, not acquired knowledge, and Godis its cause. St. Peter says (II Pet. 1:21): "Prophecy camenot by the will of man . . . but the holy men of God spoke,inspired by the Holy Ghost."

2. In the universe of creatures, lower things areregularly directed by higher things and so up to the highest. Inthe world of creatural intellects, the angelic is superior to thehuman. It is fitting, therefore, that the knowledge to be utteredin prophecy should be conveyed to the human prophet by angels.

3. It cannot be said that God selects as prophets men of asuitable disposition for the office of prophet. God chooses asprophets whom he will, regardless of natural abilities anddispositions. The infiniteCreator can instantly produce inany man the qualifications naturally needed (as, for instance, thepower to speak, or the ability to use an unfamiliar language), justas he produces the supernatural knowledge and the authority of theprophet.

4. Indeed, if God choose, the office of prophet may beexercised by a person who is not even in the state of grace. Forprophecy is primarily a matter of knowledge, which pertains to theintellect, whereas grace or charity pertains primarily to the will.Yet it is most unlikely that a man of sinful and passionate lifeshould be made a prophet.

5. The evil spirits are fallen angels; by their angelicintellect they know things that man cannot naturally know, and theycan reveal these things to man. But this revelation is neitherdivine nor supernatural. One who proclaims knowledge acquired fromdemons is not, in a strict sense, a prophet; at best he is to becalled "a false prophet."

6. Even such "a false prophet" may speak truth;indeed, he must offer some truth, or he would quickly bediscredited, and could win no one to believe the essential falsityhe wishes to propagate.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"O Lord, my God, who will seek you with simple and pure love, and not find that you are all one can desire, for you show yourself first and go out to meet those who seek you? "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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