Prayer should be a two way conversation with God, however, discerning God’s voice and differentiating it from other voices (our own desires, someone else’s voice) is a challenging undertaking. The difficulty shouldn’t deter us from attempting to hear God’s voice. It takes practice and patience.
In my prayer life, there are many ways that God speaks to me. Sometimes it’s through one of the daily readings or reflections that resonates with me and highlights one of my weaknesses or disciplines on which I need to work. Through the sacrament of Confession, I sometimes receive insight as to how I may work to overcome a weakness.
Daily, I pray that I will be mindful of the promptings of the Holy Spirit and that I will respond to the Holy Spirit as he would have me respond. Recently, I had a thought that I should reach out to a friend that I didn’t see at Mass one Sunday. I called and left her a message, indicating that I had missed her at Mass and wanted to make sure that she was okay. She responded with an email, indicating that she was having a difficult time and that she appreciated my concern. I believe that the idea to reach out to my friend was a prompting from the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes God speaks to me through other people, such as members of my small group or my spiritual advisor. The book “Jesus Calling” is another manner in which God speaks to me with the frequent themes of do not be afraid, do not worry, and trust in God.
Back in September, I felt called to change my morning prayer to one based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Each day starts with a short Bible verse, opening prayer, a short reading, 1 minute for reflection, then 4 minutes of meditation to listen if God has something to say. The previous times I have used this devotional I did not get anything from the meditation time. This time through, I have been able to hear God calling me to a deeper understanding of who Jesus is. One morning I clearly heard that I should read the Gospel of Mark to better understand who Jesus is. That night, during evening prayers, Diane and I finished reading through the book of Ezekiel. The next night, we started reading the Gospel of Mark.
I believe that I have been led to a deeper understanding of how God responds to my prayers by how God has answered our prayers for direction for the monthly Kindling articles, daily prayers for the Cursillo movement and prayers for all the tasks we have needed to accomplish as Lay Directors.
How do you hear God speaking to you? God created each of us as a unique person so it’s easy to believe that he has unique ways to communicate to each of us. How are you responding to God’s call?
Yours in Christ,
Tom & Diane Repucci