What I don’t get is that in the old testament, there are prohibitions about sooth sayers and people that try to predict the future. And then it goes on for books about prophets.
Maybe I just don’t get the difference between a prophet and a fortune teller (no intent to make light of one, or make fun of the other).
Aren’t we supposed to live every day as if it is our last? So why should I care what the Sister says, or what the Pope says. (And I have to type that last part carefully or my catholic wife will get angry with me!)
We should live our lives as if Our Lord will be back tomorrow.
Predict the future .... for a living. IOW, they charge money for their services.
The messages at Fatima were delivered by the Blessed Mother to 3 children. You can read the history of these events that were witnessed by thousands and the messages given, at this link.
Why do folks pay big money and fly to an apparition [of course, it is not approved like Fatima surely is], when all they have to do is drive to a nearby Mass, where the Miracle of Christ awaits them every day?And while I always listen to whatever the Pope has to say and participate in the Sacraments, I agree with you, "Live every day as if it is our last ..." -- Great advice!!
These are not soothsayers; visions are a very ancient tradition in the Church, including in the Old Testament.
However, in the Church, approval of a vision does not mean that one has to believe it, simply that one can believe it without harm. Benedict XVI made a very good statement (not quoted here) saying that visions are not hard and fast predictions, but warnings. Unless one responds to them and changes, these things will happen; but God responds to prayer and to penance and change, and the final result may be different (which we will not know until after death).
That was the Old Testament view, too.
A prophet is commanded by God ... and in fact several of the OT Prophets ran away from Him.
A fortune teller tries to force God’s hand, or goes off consulting with demons.
The Prophet acknowledges that God is in charge. He knows that God is God, and he is not.
The fortune teller wants to be in charge. He wants to be God.
A Prophet is a man who is used by God to speak to His people. He simply speaks the Word of God.
A Priest speaks to God for the people.
Both were formal positions within the nation of Israel in OT times. The King of Israel, as a client nation of God, could not be placed in office unless chosen by God. The Prophet was the formal position through which the King was revealed to the people of Israel from God.
The obvious question would arise, how do we tell a true Prophet from a false prophet? A number of solutions were provided by God. One of which was to test the Prophet, since God is omniscient and always true, any Prophecy given by the Prophet could be tested against the Prophecies of Moses. If they conflicted, one could easily conclude the new prophecy was a fabrication from somebody other than God.
After the completion of the canon of Scripture, there are doctrinal arguments which assert the gift of Prophecy in the Church Age has ceased. (off top of my head they relate to some passages in Galatians and Ephesians, wherein Paul swears that by the Scripture itself, it was sufficient for every good work for every believer.) Run a google search for topics such as cessation of prophecy or cessationism.
Meanwhile in the Church Age, all believers receive a spiritual gift at the moment of salvation, not always the same gifts for different believers. Some might have a spiritual gift of pastor-teacher and other the gift of interpretation of tongues, others might have other spiritual gifts.
When faced with a spiritual message, a dilemma would occur for the Prophet, in that if he failed to deliver the message, the blood of a warning would fall on his head if he failed to warn the people of a calamity. Conversely, if the prophecy failed to occur, then he was guilty of false prophecy, which carried the same penalty as adultery, namely stoning to death. The work of the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son.