Monday, January 26, 2015

People who hear voices in their heads are now encouraged to talk back ...

Sister Magdalena of the Cross, once esteemed by many in Spain, 
confessed, one day, that the Devil had been visiting her in her cell.

File under: Things Catholics always knew.

Besides, isn't that what blogs are all about?  And not just for those who use the Internet to publish their personal locutions?  Some of our blog posts just may be answering the voices in our heads - with our only feed back being the com box - and if you close comments ... the voices in your head get really angry.  What?

All kidding aside, there is an interesting article that may prove helpful for people who actually do hear voices, as the article says, It may not always be a sign of mental illness or need treating with medication.  An interesting thought I suppose.  Reading the entire article however, it strikes me as a little nuts, but so do locutionists.

I also never knew there was a network for people who hear voices.
Recently, Waddingham and more than 200 other voice-hearers from around the world gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece, for the sixth annual World Hearing Voices Congress, organised by Intervoice, an international network of people who hear voices and their supporters. They reject the traditional idea that the voices are a symptom of mental illness. They recast voices as meaningful, albeit unusual, experiences, and believe that potential problems lie not in the voices themselves but in a person’s relationship with them. 
“If people believe their voices are omnipotent and can harm and control them, then they are less likely to cope and more likely to end up as psychiatric patients,” says Eugenie Georgaca, a senior lecturer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the organiser of this year’s conference. “If they have explanations of voices that allow them to deal with them better, that is a first step toward learning to live with them.” 
The road to this form of recovery often begins in small support groups run by the worldwide Hearing Voices Network (HVN). Founded in the Netherlands in 1987, it allows members to share their stories and coping mechanisms – for example, setting appointments to talk with the voices, so that the voice-hearer can function without distraction the rest of the day – and above all gives voice-hearers a sense of community, as people rather than patients.
There's a place in the Church for that too.

Did you know Locutions to the World continues to publish?

I'm sometimes troubled by the language in the Monsignor Esseff publications, the last time I read it, the voice of Mary was warning about economic collapse, and prices skyrocketing.  The language could have been lifted from the Wall Street Journal.  But who am I to judge?

The Hearing Voices Network would do well to consult Catholic mystical teaching on locutions.  Especially John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila.  As readers know - I always refer to these saints when it comes to this type of mystical phenomena.  Read here.

The following from Teresa of Avila is also very good:
St. Teresa of Avila, who herself had an abundance of visions, takes a similar stand. She admits that great profit can be had from such things when they are genuine and are received in the proper spirit. Yet she says (Interior Castle 6. 9): "I will only warn you that, when you learn or hear that God is granting souls these graces, you must never beg or desire Him to lead you by this road. Even if you think it is a very good one... there are certain reasons why such a course is not wise." 
She then goes on at length to explain her reasons: First, such a desire shows a lack of humility; second, one thereby leaves self open to "great peril because the devil has only to see a door left a bit ajar to enter"; third, the danger of auto-suggestion: "When a person has a great desire for something, he convinces himself that he is seeing or hearing what he desires." Fourth, it is presumption for one to want to choose his own path, as only the Lord knows which path is best for us. Fifth, very heavy trials usually go with these favors: could we be sure of being able to bear them? Sixth, "you may well find that the very thing from which you had expected gain will bring you loss." 
She then adds that there are also other reasons, and continues with some wholesome advice that one can become very holy without this sort of thing: "There are many holy people who have never known what it is to receive a favor of this sort, and there are others who receive such favors even though they are not holy." - Fr. William G. Most

Joan of Arc Hearing Voices (1879) by Bastien-Lepage

BTW - I never answer the phone - so it goes without saying I'd never pay any attention to imaginary voices, much less answer them.  

What'd you say?

Song for this post here.


  1. normally what I'd hear is a question
    or just this:"?"

  2. Anonymous8:14 PM

    Terry, what do you think of people who map out the future, basing it solely on apparitions or locutions?

    One wonders what John of the Cross would think of Spirit Daily. What?


  3. I'm against it. (Love saying that!)

    Anyway - those who map out the future are no different from fortune tellers.

    John of the Cross probably had novices like the editors of Spirit Daily.


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