We continue our discussion about locutions [direct messages/personal revelation].
Teresa notes there are people whom “the Lord does not lead by this road” of receiving divine locutions. This, of course, is not a problem since God does not choose to speak to everyone the same way and receiving locutions are not a measure of our spirituality — they come by grace. But some want to manage the relationship God has with others. They believe those receiving locutions “need not listen to these words which are addressed to them; that, if they are interior words, they should turn their attention elsewhere so as not to hear them; and that in this way they will run no risk of incurring these perils.” In their view, locutions may come from the imagination or the devil so we should avoid all risk and ignore them completely.
Here are three problems with advising people to ignore divine locutions:
- It’s impossible to ignore them. When God wants to be heard, He will be heard.
- Advising people to ignore divine locutions is asking them to ignore the Lordship of Christ.
- The Bible itself teaches God speaks to us directly.*
Teresa says, the “Spirit Himself, as He speaks, inhibits all other thought and compels attention to what He says.” She says “it would be easier for someone with excellent hearing not to hear a person who spoke in a very loud voice”. She goes on to say divine locutions are impossible shut out because God “can still the faculties and all the interior parts of the soul in such a way that the soul becomes fully aware that another Lord, greater than itself, is governing that castle and renders Him the greatest devotion and humility. So it cannot do other than listen: it has no other choice.”
We should pay attention: Divine locutions are about the power of God and the Lordship of Christ.
For a companion to this post, read the story of Sam: https://teresaofavilaturns500.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/prayer-of-recollection-a-story/
* Those who like to quote words popular in doctrinal statements: “The Bible is our only rule of faith and practice” should be reminded that if they believe “the Bible is their only rule of faith and practice” they would have to quit believing “the Bible is their only rule of faith and practice” since the Bible does not teach that it is “our only rule of faith and practice”. Instead, the Bible is filled with many examples of God “speaking” in other ways.