How to Hear God's Voice

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

Oh, if souls would only be willing to listen, at least a little, to the voice of conscience and the voice - that is, the inspirations - of the Holy Spirit! I say "at least a little," because once we open ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit, He Himself will fulfill what is lacking in us (359).

Throughout her Diary, St. Faustina records many instances in which the Lord Jesus came and spoke directly to her. But not everything she recorded the Lord saying came to her through an audible voice from without. Sometimes, she recorded what she discerned the Lord telling her in the silence of her heart.

He's Speaking
Indeed, St. Faustina received an extraordinary grace by having the chance to converse with the Lord many times in person. Few in the history of the world can say the same. However, just because we likely won't hear the voice of the Lord in the same way she did does not mean that He's not speaking to us. Indeed, God wants each one of us to converse with Him in the silence of our hearts.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Not me. For whatever reason, the Lord never seems to speak to me like that."

But the Lord is the Word made Flesh. He's constantly speaking to us. And not just through Scripture, not just through his representatives, not just in daily events and situations, but in an actual voice, which Scripture describes as "a light silent sound" (1 Kg 19:12). So it's not that the Lord isn't speaking to us.

You Know How to Listen
You might be thinking to yourself, "Well, the Lord might be speaking, but I don't know how to listen." All of us, though, were made to have an intimate relationship with God the Father. He gives each and every one of us the capacity to hear His voice. Scripture says, "My sheep hear my voice" (Jn 10:27). So it's not that the Lord isn't speaking to us, and it's not that we don't know how to listen. It's that many of us lack the faith to believe that the little voice inside of us is the voice of God. We just have to learn to tell the difference between the Lord's voice and the voice of our own thoughts.

And we can learn to recognize the voice of God just like we learn anything else - through practice. For example, we weren't always able to recognize the voice of our best friend or husband or wife. Through spending time with them, we've gained the ability, not only to recognize the sound of their voice, but to learn the manner in which they speak and relate to us.

The same is true with God. We just have to take the time to be with Him and get to know Him. We can start by asking Him simple questions: Do You love me? What is it about me that You love? What are You trying to tell me today? Any voice we hear in response filled with peace, goodness, and mercy, we can bet it's the voice of God. Any voice that's condemning or discouraging, we can bet that's not Him.

Jesus says to us: Spend quiet time with Me every day. Ask Me questions and listen. Believe that I am speaking to you, and keep connecting with Me as often as you can. You will learn to better hear My voice. There's so much I want to tell you.

My prayer: Thank you for speaking to me. Jesus, help me to learn to discern the sound and manner of Your voice within the silence of my heart. Tell me everything You wish for me to know, and help me to continually strive to grow closer to You.

View the previous Discovering the Diary.


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