Anonymous asked this question on 6/20/2000:

Could you explain to me in simple terms the meaning of the terms "prophetic criticizing" and "prophetic energizing"?


mscperu asked for clarification on 6/20/2000:

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for your question.

I could explain to you the prophetic role of the Church and of every member of the Church because baptism make us take part in the prophetic mission of the people of God. I can even tell you about prophetic invective or criticizing.

But it is the first time I come across the word "prophetic energizing". It seems a term used in the US, is it? I do not know what it means.

So if you want I can help with the above but not with the last.

You tell me if you want half a question answered. A thought: why don't you put it on the general question board?

But you decide, ok?




Anonymous added this clarification on 6/20/2000:

I would appreciate any explanations you can offer. I will also take your advice and post on the general board.



In the Old Testament the prophets were messengers of God. The proof of their authenticity was the fulfillment of their predictions. So prophecy is seen often as a forecast of future happenings. But their mission was above all to interpret the history of people. They had to announce God’s will in the situations of individuals or nations. It so happens that there is at hand political or economical consideration to resolve a problem. The prophet tells what God’s considerations are. The invective o prophetic critique is their rage against sin, hypocrisy, idolatry and abuse of the poor. The expressions of these invectives at times seem more an insult then exhortation.

In the New Testament there is a radical change. There are not anymore only chosen individuals to be prophet in God’s name, all baptized have part in the mission of Christ whom many considered a prophet. Our purpose as Christian consists in reproducing the figure of Christ in ourselves. There are many aspects of this characteristic of being an icon of Christ. One of them is the prophetic mission. It consists in being able to know and announce the will of God in the diverse circumstances that may present themselves. We call it discernment. This means that in the name of God we interpret our history and understand what the will of God is.

An example: A man tells about his life. Being on the Police force he has been shot. The bullet entered only an inch from his heart. Being on pension he earns some additional money working as a taxi driver. He is diagnosed having multiple tumors in his brain. His doctor tells him many months later that he escaped narrowly death when the tumors were removed. So he questions himself and others: "Why have I been spared so miraculously twice?" A Christian who heard him talking asked in confidence if he was in habitual sin. Receiving an affirmative answer the Christian told him: " I have no doubt. God spared you to give you a chance to repent and change your life so that you might be saved". Double prophecy or discernment: first the inner condition of the man in question and second the announcement of the will of God in this circumstances.

The same type of prophecy is exercised by Christians who analyze the situation of communities, of a nation or of the world and are able to tell the will of the Lord in these circumstances. Generally God give the hearers a special disposition to accept the word of the prophet.

The world looks for the easiest way out. Many times at the cost of ethics. But because many justify their way of life may go astray. Here the prophet cries against these sins that may even become a law approved by parliament. For instance a law that permits abortion. He denounces the evil in the name of God. Frequently in their personal life they express this denunciation.

Throughout history God calls some of His children for a special mission. They are called to be a special kind of prophet. Think about Mother Teresa from Calcutta. No only her words but her whole life was a critique of the culture of death. Sometimes they have to rage against the indifference of people.

In the 1970 especially in the theology of liberation many promoted a type of prophetism to denounce the injustices, the suffering of the poor, etc.

If you are baptized you are called to be a prophet even in your own house. How to "activate" this mission?


Frequent examination of the Holy Scripture.

Discernment in community as a process in learning

Genuine search for the will of God in all circumstances and at all times

Independence and courage in front of power and wealth








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