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Manifestations of the divine mind conveyed to the exterior or interior senses or directly to the intellect. They differ from strictly intellectual visions in that words are received and, by means of these words, certain thoughts are perceived. The words may be directed to the human ear and then the locutions are auricular, or to the ear of the imagination and they are imaginative, or directly to the mind and they are intellectual. St. John of the Cross (1542-91) distinguishes these forms of supernatural language by calling them successive, formal, and substantial (Ascent of Mount Carmel, II, 26-29).
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.