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173. The Conveying of Prophetic Knowledge

1. The prophetic vision which gives the prophet hisknowledge is not the vision of God in heaven. If a prophet were tosee God in the beatific vision, he would be instantly glorified andconfirmed in grace, and this is impossible to man while he is awayfarer, that is, is living this earthly life.

2. The revelation made to a prophet by divine power issometimes an infusing of new ideas; sometimes, a new arrangement ofideas the prophet already possesses; and sometimes, a light thatshows hitherto unseen implications in old ideas in their oldarrangement.

4. It is possible that the prophet himself should not understandwhat the Holy Ghost means by the prophetic utterance. Davidunderstood that he had prophesied when he said (II Kings 23:2):"The spirit of the Lord hath spoken by me." But Caiphasdid not understand when he prophesied (John 11:51): "And thishe spoke, not ofhimself, but being the high-priest of thatyear, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation."

7. Man forms ideas in the natural way byabstraction which draws intelligible species(that is, understandable essences) from the findings of senserepresented in imagination-images or phantasms. This process is notalways followed in the conveying of prophetic knowledge. Divinelyimparted knowledge is sometimes directly impressed without theservice of senses or phantasms. And sometimes it is an infusedlight which makes manifest what was not known in the naturalprocess of human knowing.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"The greatest glory we can give to God is to do his will in everything."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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