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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

People Ask Me

"How can I hear the Lord speaking to me?"

In our individualistic society, members of the Catholic Church are not used to the long tradition of communal discernment. The nuns and monks in monasteries know how this works, but most lay people do not.

If one is not blessed with a community, one is denied communal discernment, which allows those shepherds in charge of the sheep to pray for guidance and direction.

The laity have not been trained to hear God, to listen to God in prayer and most lay people fill the day with noise.

If one lives in noise and distraction, one will not hear God.

So, how does one hear God if one is a lay person?

A few suggestions:

1) If one is married, the wife must take direction and guidance from the husband. This is how she hears God. The man must have an intimate relationship with God and listen to Him. If the man is not right with God, the wife and family suffer, but the wife must pray directly for guidance and direction. One cannot trust those in mortal sin to "hear God".

2) If one is single, one must absolutely have either a spiritual director or a regular confessor and be totally honest with this priest. Without such a guide, especially if one is alone, one will veer off into odd directions. But, find a good priest. St Teresa of Avila suffered under bad spiritual directors for years.

3) Over a period of years, or through an obvious special grace, one can hear God through the small still voice of God, Who will speak through events in one's life, Scripture, and others who are in sanctifying grace. God speaks through the daily Mass readings and through the Divine Office.

3) We all hear God through the encyclicals, apostolic letters, catechism and other documents of the Church.

4) If we are fortunate to have holy priests in our churches, we hear God through the sermons.

Do not be deluded, as satan loves to imitate angels of light and lead people astray. But, if one is orthodox and in sanctifying grace, one will learn how to use the gift of discernment, which is given to all for personal growth in holiness.

God rarely speaks in an audible voice, but He does speak through the interior movements of the Holy Spirit. Again, the teachings of the Church and common sense dictate what is good and true.

The problem is usually not that God is silent, but that a person is not silent enough.

God is silent most of the time in the Dark Night, when He is demanding that one walks by faith alone.

to be continued...