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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Voice of God

Last night I attended a brief talk at a Holy Spirit conference.  The presence of the Holy Spirit while I was listening was palpable, but at the same time, I was hoping for a longer talk, more insights.
Holy Spirit, Stained Glass Image
The priest mentioned at one point when he and a waitress noticed the Spirit was at work in their meeting that he told her, "I am going to pray to find out.  Come back in 10 minutes?"  Then he described how God told him she and her family had been away from the Catholic Church for 10 years and Jesus wanted them to come back.

God told him.  It only took 10 minutes for him to get the answer.  He had confidence he would have an answer in 10 minutes.

What?

He described God's voice as quiet.

I was leaving with the friend that came with me, and I told her, "I've never heard God speak audibly.  I thought I was hearing Him once, but I am pretty sure it was my imagination now.  I think maybe he might be speaking to me some time, but I play the music so loud all the time when I am alone I can't hear Him.  Have you heard God speak to you?"

After laughing at my little joke, although knowing that I do play the music loudly, she says, emphatically, "Yes.  I wouldn't describe his voice as quiet though.  It is clear, and at a normal volume.  I know it is Him."

What?!

I have always been fine with the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit.  The gift of faith, the experience God gives me of knowing that I am in love with Him.  Seeing a certain passage, like "unless you become like one of these little ones, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God," (Matthew 18:3) and knowing the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me something that I am missing.

But you know, why do they get to hear God, and I don't?

At the same time, I know none of us deserves any of the graces God gives us, and it is for his pleasure alone, and for the spread of His Kingdom that I want to live.  I do trust that he will bless not just those that believe but have not seen, but also those who believe, love, and trust and have not heard.

It was cool though, to have someone speak to me that was able to drum up the answer from God in 10 minutes of prayer, although I have a bit of spiritual envy there, and also it was cool to be driving away from the talk with someone I knew that could tell me what it was like.  I'd only read about it in books by St. Teresa, St. Faustina, but never actually talked with someone that had experienced it.

Here are some other notes from his talk:
  • The more we gaze on the Lord radiant in glory, overwhelmed with love for Christ, the stronger our armour for spiritual warfare
  • Jesus Prayer - good defense against spiritual attacks
  • Scriptural Tracts - good defense against spiritual attacks
  • Voice of God = Constant quiet voice urging us to goodness (he attributed to St. Teresa of Avila)
  • Christ is in our midst doing his work
  • Begins with a love affair and trust of child & holy awe
  • A child has joy in the love of the parents
The first point was really a beautiful image and meditation that he walked us through.  That if we could see the demons present in the world, in service of Lucifer, coming after us, our children, and the church we would be terrified.  If we listen, though, and hear the voice, "Daughter (Son), I am here," and then turn to gaze on Jesus Christ, triumphant, risen in glory we will be so overwhelmed with our love for Him that the demons will flee, and as the verse says, "Perfect Love casts out all fear." (1 John 4:18b)

The last note is a spiritual theme for me the past few days.  My meditation today was from the Gospel of Mark when Jesus wants the little children to come to him, and he puts his arms around them, and blesses them (See Mark 10:13-16).  Since this was in his talk, and came up in my meditation, and seems very in line with the latest message from Mary at Medjugorje, I think it is the Holy Spirit telling me something.  I can't hear him with my ears, or with my heart or soul via an inner locution, but I know this orchestration of a spiritual theme is from Him.
Christ and the Children Icon
October 25, 2011
“Dear children! I am looking at you and in your hearts I do not see joy. Today I desire to give you the joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness. I love you and I am praying for your conversion without ceasing before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Thoughts?  Do you hear God audibly at times, or in a clear internal voice?  Or are you like me, sensing the Holy Spirit's presence and work in your heart and mind, but not actually hearing him?

7 comments:

  1. Colleen, sounds like a great talk! The priest who knew the situation of the waitress reminds me of Padre Pio knowing the penitents sins. What a gift that must be, although I'm not sure I'd like that-I fear knowing too much about others!

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  2. Great post, Colleen! The talk sounded very interesting. I think God speaks to people in various ways and that no one is excluded. For some it may be audible but I don't think the other ways are any less effective. Sometimes we cannot "hear" Him because He works directly on the soul and bypasses our minds. Either way gets the job done I would think.

    I love this message from Our Lady. My mom visited Medjugorje back in the late eighties and loved it there. The visit changed her :)

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  3. Pay it Forward @ A Life Size Catholic Blog is up and running on a new schedule. I will post the first week of the month from here on out. This will accommodate my new crazy school schedule and allow us to continue to celebrate the best of the best on the Internet and in the blogosphere. The Linky is open now and until the 7th of November. I hope you will continue to share your blog posts with us. You have been such blessing in my life and the lives of other bloggers in our community!

    God bless

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  4. I agree with Mary. God speaks to us each in a special and individual way. Some may hear a voice. Some receive messages that are more internal. Some receive messages in things that happen or are said.
    We all need to just listen and God will speak to our hearts.
    Great post!

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  5. Hi Colleen..really interesting post. Thank you!

    One of my formation directors in Carmel offered an excellent suggestion on how to "hear" God speaking to us. She said to carry a pocket sized notebook with us, and to write down thoughts that come to us in prayer, Bible verses that seem to speak to us, things others say that capture our attention, or something we read that makes an impression, etc...you get the idea.

    She said that after a week or so, we would recognize a pattern, and would see that the Lord was drawing our attention to certain things, even though we had not realized it.

    I practiced this little exercise for a year or so, and it really was helpful in "hearing" the Lord's voice and learning what He wanted me to focus on or learn etc., at certain times in my life.

    Just thought I'd share....
    BTW, I'm loving "Consoling the Heart of Jesus".
    Thanks so much for recommending : )

    Blessings,
    Patricia

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  6. Sorry it took me a while to catch up with you lovely commenters! I am having very challenging week now that my new high school basketball coaching job is in full gear. Having insomnia thinking of all I want to teach the girls both on and off the court. We are actually sharing favorite Bible verses or passages between stretches and ball drills everyday. I used my old faithful Philippians 4:13 today. About half knew it and recited it right after I said the chapter and verse. Very cool!

    Mary, Colleen I agree with you too. The spiritual envy is honest. I am a straightforward person and it just seems in my little, non-divine mind that if I could hear God like I can hear someone talking to me in conversation that it would be that much easier to know and do his will. I also can see that the spiritual envy points to need to just trust God more. God's ways are perfect and as high above mine as the heavens are above the earth, right? Of course!

    Anne, you point out another drawback or cross that goes with the gift--the responsibility and burden of knowing what others need to know, and the accountability to convey that to them.

    Patricia, very insightful. I use a notebook especially for scripture reading at home, and when I am work, I use the back of my work notebook, but I hadn't thought of noting down thoughts, confirmations, from scripture, Bible Verses, homilies, POSTS, COMMENTS :), etc. That is a good idea.

    I have an entry for today, but that is going into my next post! Hope you all have a blessed rest of the week!

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  7. Holly, thank you for your encouragement! I will get a pay forward entry in before the due date. I am very glad you are back. I was a little worried about you. I keep think I am maybe too busy to keep up with this, but I do love this community. I didn't think I minded not having a pal to share this wonderful "life-size Catholic faith" with until I realized how much I do appreciate having like-hearted people in this community!

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