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Divine Appearances

January 23, 2020
By Martin Luther

And the LORD appeared to [Isaac) and said . . .

GENESIS 26: 2

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Divine Appearances

It is surely a great thing for God to appear to a human being and to fit His promises to a particular individual. For this reason many consider the saintly fathers far more blessed in this respect than we are, since they had such definite and individual comforts and appearances from God through the ministry of the angels. Someone will say: If He were to appear to me, too, in a human form, what great joy this would bring to my heart! Then I would surely not be reluctant to undergo any peril or misfortunes for God's sake. But this has been denied me. I only hear sermons, read Scripture, and make use of the Sacraments. I have no appearances of angels." I answer: You have no reason to complain that you have been visited less than Abraham or Isaac. You, too, have appearances, and in a way they are stronger, clearer, and more numerous than those they had, provided that you open your eyes and heart and take hold of them. You have Baptism. You have the Sacrament of the Eucharist, where bread and wine are the species, figures, and forms in which and under which God in person speaks and works into your ears, eyes, and heart. Besides, you have the ministry of the Word and teachers through whom God speaks with you. You have the ministry of the Keys, through which He absolves and comforts you. "Fear not," He says, "I am with you." . . . What more will you desire? Everything is full of divine appearances and conversations.

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