Father Groeschel, the highly respected author, psychologist, spiritual director and leader of renewal in the religious life, has written a brief but comprehensive practical guide for all those interested in private revelations, the reports of visions and other extraordinary religious phenomena that are so widespread in these times. Because of the intense interest in extraordinary religious experience that ranges from Medjugorje to the New Age, Groeschel's book is an urgently needed resource that gives practical norms to everyone on how to evaluate these claims. Drawing on spiritual classics and Church documents not readily available, he summarizes the Church's perennial wisdom on this topic. He also offers an alternative to unusual and extraordinary ways of knowing the things of God, which is a normal everyday opportunity open to all called "religious experience"--the action of grace operating in the context of a human life that can become a powerful source of virtue and holiness. Father Groeschel skillfully directs the reader to the humbler and safer path which discerns God's presence in prayer, Scripture, the sacraments and love of neighbor. The great example of this path to holiness is St. Thirhse of Lisieux who, though having very few extraordinary experiences, was filled with a profound awareness of God's presence and said, "To ecstasy, I prefer the monotonof sacrifice."
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