Friday 22 July 2022

Do we get spiritual guidance from God, or the Holy Ghost (= Jesus Christ)?

My contention is that Christian daily spiritual guidance comes - by intent, according to divine plan - from the Holy Ghost, rather than from God the Father.

I'm not sure whether this matters very much; but I think we can see, throughout the Fourth Gospel, that Jesus's intent was that our external spiritual guidance in life was to be from the Holy Ghost

Which means, I believe, guidance from Jesus Christ himself; since the Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ, resurrected and ascended.  

Of course it is never sufficient to 'quote scripture' since this leaves open the question of how we should read The Bible; and my understanding of the primacy of the Fourth Gospel is unusual among Christians. 

But I think we can make a reasonable case that the plan for guidance of Christians towards salvation would be by Christ himself; since he is the one who enables our salvation. 

And also because Christ is fully divine, hence a creator with full creative powers - hence able to shape the circumstances of our lives to benefit our salvation (and also theosis). 

This conflicts with the usual Christian practice of praying to The Father - that is to the primary creator; which seems to be modelled on what Jesus himself did, and what he is reported as instructing for his followers in the Matthew and Luke Gospels. 

This, then, is a situation in which the prior assumptions before reading the Gospels comes into play: the Fourth Gospel telling us, in effect, to pray to (and/or commune with) the Holy Ghost (which is Jesus Christ); while other sources say we should pray to The Father. 

So - should we pray to The Father; or to The Holy Ghost/ The Son? Are we to model ourselves on Jesus's personal practice, or instead to do what Jesus told us to do? 

Because I regard the Fourth Gospel as primary, I think we know what Jesus wanted.

But either way the decision goes; we should seriously practice inward and intuitive discernment, and seek confirmation of our understanding.  

I doubt if this is crucial - and we could, of course, pray to both Father and Son/ Holy Ghost. But it may be that praying to the intended divine person - i.e. by seeking spiritual guidance from Jesus as the Holy Ghost - may, in some way, be more effective than the alternatives.  


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

On June 13, 1917, the Fátima visitant instructed the children to add to the Rosary prayers -- all of which are addressed to the Father or to Mary -- one beginning "O my Jesus."

I have been praying the Rosary without this additional Fátima prayer -- because I pray it in Latin, and the standard Latin translation is so awful ("Ó meu Jesus, perdoai-nos" is rendered "Domine Iesu, dimmite nobis debita nostra" -- clearly just cribbing from the Lord's Prayer!). Lately I've been feeling that I need to include it but am not sure how. My Latin isn't good enough to translate it myself with any confidence, and inserting a bit of English or Portuguese among the Latin prayers seems strange. Your post came at a significant time for me and suggests that I really need to solve this problem right away.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Wm - Good, I'm glad it helped a bit.

Ranger said...

"Lord, have mercy" and "love, forgive us" is not that different; maybe just cribbing from the old Latin mass and keeping the "Kyrie Eleison" from Greek will not sound so wierd. Worth a try.

Funny story about the post Vatican 2 liturgical reforms: allegedly , a priest strongly protested, saying "let's at least keep the Kyrie Eleison, let the people have some Latin!" (I'm paraphrasing from memory, read that a long time ago).