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God’s disclosure of Himself and His will to the human race.
Christ’s public revelation of God’s teaching during His public ministry. It includes both the words He spoke directly and also the words spoken by His Apostles during their earthly lives.
The Apostles are included because they heard all of His teachings to the crowds, often again and again as Jesus traveled from place to place and taught in each community. They lived with Jesus day and night, and had the opportunity to ask Him questions and listen to His answers.
The era of public revelation closed when St. John, the last Apostle, died.
Christ’s public revelation is taught today through the Church’s Magisterium. We must accept all of it to enter heaven.
We accept all that the Magisterium teaches because we accept that the Church has divine authority to teach on faith and morals. A person who accepts every single doctrine the Church teaches, but only because it agrees with his own intellect, has not accepted the Church as his shepherd and cannot enter heaven.
Supernatural manifestations to a particular person after the Apostles walked the earth.
An interior locution or apparition may be experienced but not understood. When properly understood it becomes a private revelation. The supernatural origin and proper understanding of a locution or apparition are reserved to the local ordinary as representative of the Church.
Church approval is primarily a formal conclusion by competent Church authority, usually the local ordinary, that the revelation is of supernatural origin.
When the Church approves a private revelation we should accept it, but our acceptance is not absolutely necessary for our salvation.
God reveals Himself and His will to us through both supernatural and natural means.
God communicates supernatural revelations to us in two ways. Heb 1:1 “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” Before Christ, God spoke indirectly through prophets who were inspired to tell others what He had told them. Through Christ, God spoke directly as a man to other men.
God communicates natural revelations to us through human reason as it apprehends the natural world. Rom 1:20 “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.”
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