Recognizing the Voice of God

Eucharistic Adoration at St. Norbert Parish

An interior locution is that still, small voice telling you what to do. It’s a private revelation, something you receive internally. This revelation may come from a saint, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Jesus. This spiritual  encounter is a mystical communication, a message from God that may need immediate attention. A locution can also be a holy experience. Once while I was praying during Eucharistic adoration, I had my eyes closed, when suddenly Jesus came to give me communion. He was holding a communion wafer, and as He got closer, out of fear I opened my eyes and the vision disappeared. God speaks to us in many ways; as we receive and respond to these messages, God will entrust us with more encounters.

The Vacuum Cleaner

This incident happened years ago: our vacuum cleaner broke. Any other time I would have dealt with it by putting it off for another day. I was cleaning the house because we were expecting company. When these things happen I usually call Mike, who told me to purchase a new one. I went to a local repair shop and explained my dilemma. The owner asked me to bring the old vacuum in  for a trade in,  so I did. The owner told me that it could not be repaired. I was still not sure if I wanted to purchase a new one, so he gave me a loaner. While I was vacuuming, an interior voice came to me. I heard, “Go back and pick up the old vacuum.” I dismissed it as nonsense. Once again I heard the same message but with more urgency.  This time I stopped vacuuming and loaded the loaner. As I walked in, the owner was surprised to see me. “I’ve changed my mind, can I please have my vacuum back?” I explained. The perplexed man answered, “Oh, I’ve already taken it apart.” Without thought, the voice instructed me to say, “That’s fine, put it back together, I’ll wait.” As it turned out, he had not taken it apart as he wanted me to believe. I took my vacuum and loaded it into my car. Now what? I thought. Again the voice said, “Return the vacuum to Costco.” I could not remember whether the vacuum had been  purchased there, but I was obedient. Sure enough, Costco had proof of the purchase, and I received a full refund for the amount.

San Francisco

As always when Mike and I are out of town, we try to attend a church service. As we were driving in San Francisco, we passed the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. We stopped and walked the grounds of this beautiful church. As we walked in, a service was about to begin, Mike knew by the look on my face that we were staying. The service was held in a side chapel of the church to accommodate the smaller group of congregants. We sat behind a dark-skinned man; maybe he was from India. This young man was wearing a pink long sleeved-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. He had a worn out Bible next to him. One other thing that I noticed about this man: his arms were covered in sores. When the service ended the Lord told me to go and speak to the young man. Mike and I were already half way out the door. Again the interior voice urged me to go back. But this time I registered mental objections, “No, I don’t know him, and besides Mike will think I’m crazy.” As I continued to walk my heart started to beat at an accelerated rate.  Again I heard, “Go to the young man!” I turned to Mike and said,  “I need to go back into the church to give the man who was sitting in front of us a message.” With a puzzled look on his face, Mike uttered a long, “OOOkay.” As I made my way back into the chapel, it was empty! I felt so bad for my disobedience. As I was exiting, I noticed the young man sitting in the main sanctuary. I was a little winded by the time I sat down behind him. As I opened my mouth  I was not sure what to say, but the Lord put the words in my mouth. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “The Lord has a message for you. He hears your prayers and will soon answer them.” As the young man turned to face me, he was crying. He said, “Thank you very much.” With that I walked back towards Mike, who was waiting for me outside. Mike never questioned me about this because he understood this was from God.

The Miracle

For those of you who do not know, for twelve years I worked for Release Time Christian Education. This program involved fourth and fifth grade students. This organization has been around for over 60 years. The children are escorted  off  school grounds (usually during lunch) and fed the Word of God; both Mikos and Sonja (our children) participated in this program when they were in elementary school.

This experienced occurred over seven years ago, on a Thursday at Nohl Canyon Elementary school.  While picking up my students, Kaitlan, a fifth grader, came running to tell me that Kelly (the parent of a former student) was in the hospital. Our walk to the trailer was a distance from the school so I questioned her about Kelly. All she could tell me was that she was very sick. I had this desire  in my heart to go to the hospital and pray for her; but she was just an acquaintance, and I wondered how she would receive me.  I taught the 45-minute class and walked the students back to school with this overwhelming urge to go see Kelly. “No, no, I can’t do this.  It would be too weird!’ I told myself.  Then I went home to eat lunch. I made a sandwich and took several bites when I felt the Lord tugging at my heart to go. I called the hospital to get more specific information. I still do not understand what came over me, but I got into my car and drove at an accelerated speed to St. Joseph’s Hospital. I was praying the entire way, but the Devil was also attempting to get my attention. Satan’s voice questioned me repeatedly: “Why are you doing this? You don’t even know her?” I tried to shut out the negative voices with praise music. So many obstacles were thrown my way as I rushed in to see Kelly. I thought to myself, what do I have to give her? I felt so empty that I was trembling when I arrived.  Kelly was in the ICU (intensive care unit). Due to the severity of her condition, visitors were required to suit up in a mask, gloves and robe. It was a shocking sight to see this normally active, young, beautiful mother of two in such a frail state. Kelly burst into tears and explained that her body was shutting down and that she was totally septic. With the combination of tears and the mask, my glasses fogged up as I dabbed her forehead with blessed oil and prayed for her. I prayed for healing and the total restoration of her body. Although our visit lasted only 10 minutes, after I left,  I continued praying for her throughout the day.

Jerusalem, praying at the site of Jesus’ imprisonment

The following evening I received a text message from Kelly. This is what I can recall:  “I wanted you to be one of the first to know that I’m being released from the hospital today. I wanted to thank you for coming and praying for me. The infection has left my body. I want to thank you on behalf of my parents because I am their only living child. I know that you were an angel sent from heaven, and it was a miracle.”

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,

May we always be able to hear Your voice and obey without questioning Your purpose for us. As we grow more spiritually, entrust us with more of Your holiness. Fill our cups, Lord.  Amen.

 

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