My recent research led me to some social media posts by a group of “charismatic” Catholics. On their page, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, a Capuchin contemplative monk and speaker at IHOP’s ‘One Thing’ Catholic Track conference states:
“The inebriation that comes from the Holy Spirit purifies of sin, renews the heart in fervor and enlightens the mind by a *SPECIAL KNOWLEDGE of God – NOT a RATIONAL but an intuitive, *EXPERIENTIAL knowledge, accompanied by inner joy.” – [Fr. Cantalamessa]
The obtaining of special knowledge of God is what Gnostics and assorted mystics have sought from the beginning – thus, to become gods themselves.
A second posts proclaiming a “Nativity Fast” gives detailed directions for the practice of contemplative Lectio Divina. The devil is in the details, as this reveals some of the major problems with LD and contemplative practices in general.
This is a dangerous practice, and can open one to direct demonic deception. To begin with, “Invoking” the Holy Spirit has no scriptural foundation. Jesus taught us: “In *THIS manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…”
Note that proper bible study – exegesis, is relegated to an “introductory exercise”. We are told to “Create a space” in our hearts “for a new experience”…Then passages are “isolated” – taken out of context, and repeated like a mantra. As the passage in repeated we are instructed to be “expecting NEW illumination, New highlight, NEW understanding…”
Lastly we are told to be “receptive and open… Opening up our inner man for a download from heaven”. What we are not told is that this entire process factually amounts to a Christianized form of divination – all forms of which are strictly forbidden in God’s Word [Lev. 19:2] precisely because they bring one in contact with demonic entities.
Some relevant bible verses include:
1Cor. 4:6 – “… that you may learn in us not to think *BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN, that none of you may be puffed up…”
“You must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of… that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2Tim. 3:14-17
And, consider this:
“Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” ‘ ” – Ezekiel 13:22-23