EWTN Catholic Q&A
paul's visions and revelations from the lord
Question from joseph michial vacheesse on 12-13-2012:

2 corinthians 12:1-10 ?

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 05-01-2013:

Saint Paul wrote:

I* must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know someone in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know that this person (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) 4was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter.a 5About this person* I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 6Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me 7because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated,* a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.b 8Three times* I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,c 9* but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,* in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.d 10Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ;e for when I am weak, then I am strong

Saint Paul was one of the Apostles, directly appointed such by the Risen Christ Himself. This appointment itself was done via a mystical experience of a remarkable nature. So it should not surprise us that subsequent to this, the Apostle had other mystical experiences and revelations from the Lord. Given how other-worldly and mysterious such experiences must be, such that they are beyond description, it appears the Apostle describes this in the most general terms, even in the third person, perhaps out of humility. Elsewhere Saint Paul writes that he has some teaching from the Lord, which we presume was from this or some other mystical experience.

Thanks, Joseph

Father Echert