How to Hear the Holy Spirit
What God Does to Help Us Know His Will
Question for reflection and sharing:
In your current discernment process, what confirmations have you been experiencing? What happenstances have surprisingly come into view that “coincidentally” relate to what you want the Holy Spirit to talk to you about?
Currently, I have received confirmations through scripture, as I read the daily Mass readings with words that call my attention and upon researching more of the meaning, bring clarification, reaffirmation and growth.
As a past experience, once a friend and I were talking about the belief of reincarnation. I stated how it was not so, that we live once and then die. The next day, at Mass readings, St. Paul’s letter directly confirmed our conversation. That blew us away, as we talked about it later on.
Off and on, past and current confirmations have happened as I have been driving down the road and there is a very clear message, written on a bulletin board, on a truck or on a bumper sticker that brings about what the Holy Spirit wanted to talk to me about.
It is beautiful, amazing and scary how close God is and how He cares for us even in the smallest ways. He is the greatest, most powerful and yet so meek and humble. Truly really, like a priest once said in a homily: “The God that loves you meets you on his knees.” To think that also the saints have said that “He’s there, Our Lord, in the tabernacle, because He’d rather wait for us than have a sinner wait for Him”, brings about an amazing reality of the Truth of Who calls us to serve and how He served first. This is the Spirit that calls to us.
We need to choose to listen. The Holy Spirit is always speaking. We need to choose the conditions to be open to listen and internally retreat, like Elijah did after the victory at Mt. Carmel.
My marriage has been in trouble for a long time. The good is really good, but the bad is really bad. I love my husband, but he is abusive. The abuse used to be physical, but now it is mental and verbal. I know that it is wrong. I have prayed and prayed.
Well, I decided I needed to change, as we cannot change others. We can pray for them, we can influence them, but we cannot change them. Change is a decision that a person makes and real change takes courage. Positive, true change, requires God. Sometimes, we have to be knocked to our knees, and fall on our face, to be humbled before the Lord.
I really decided that I could control what I do, how I grow. I decided to take the course, read books, and read the Bible from beginning to end, starting with the New Testament. I prayed for the Holy Spirit and have truly tried to surrender myself to God, everyday.
I was asleep, the night before last. When I woke up, the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, through me, in stanzas, words that were not my own. I wish I would have written them down. But, the Holy Spirit/God said, “Sweep the path clear – and something about – I am going to turn things completely over (today); don’t be afraid; I will be with you, and make you new.”
This morning, scared, and trembling, I told my husband, “I love you, but this cannot continue. We need to get healthy. You need to leave, we need to separate, not divorce.” I suppose time will tell, what choices he makes. But, I know that God is with me, and I will continue to draw close to him, and see the wisdom of the Spirit. My Lord is in the driver’s seat and he has my wheel. I feel peace; I’m sad, but at peace.
Praise God. I thank the Spirit for talking to me. The story is not over.
L.M. shared this:
I have experienced confirmations and they generally come clustered (Bible verse, music, something someone says, etc.). They don’t always come right away after I’ve asked, but are very clear in answer to a question. Not all questions are answered with confirmation. And sometimes the experience is so good that the experience IS all the confirmation that is necessary.
J.T. wrote this:
My mum passed away on Easter Sunday. People say it’s the best day to return to the Lord as He resurrected and will take her straight to heaven with Him. Yes, I do believe it, and never doubted this. A few nights ago my mom came in a dream to my friend singing a song, “Heaven’s Now My Home” and it brought me comfort to know that she really is with Jesus partaking in His table of Plenty & Love! Here’s the link — Thank you, Jesus!
I have been struggling with prayers lately, in the sense that I seemed to repeat the same thanksgiving, pardon for my failings, and petitions for answers to the needs of my loved ones, family, friends, and the world in general. In short, it has become rather “routine” as part of my daily quiet time besides Bible reading, reflections and devotions.
It is also part of my daily prayer to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as I begin the day, and to consciously open my mind and heart to His workings throughout the day. By God’s grace, I receive multiple assurances while flipping through my daily motivational calendar on my work desk, which includes these quotes:
- Difficulty in prayer is a means of grace. If I have only to kneel, ask, get and go away, loss to my spiritual life would result.
- In prayer I must expect difficulties, which can be conquered only by determined perseverance.
- Persistence always means and knows that God hears prayer: I must be heard.
- Like Jacob, I must struggle in prayer.
It’s amazing how God speaks to us in so many different ways, through people, devotions and the like, which applies to the circumstances or questions we have been seeking, in the most personal way. We absolutely know it is meant for us, as it speaks to our heart.
C.T. wrote this:
I’m in my 4th year serving in the RCIA as a companion. To be honest, it’s really a time commitment ministry where I have to juggle between work, family, and church. Every year, before the new intake starts, the formation leader respects our decision, by asking us whether we wish to continue to serve or to leave this RCIA ministry.
I was contemplating taking a break. While traveling on a bus, I saw an advertisement tag line that read, “Sit back and take a break”. This tag line stayed with me throughout the day and I asked the Spirit, “So, this is the sign to tell me that my decision to take a break was correct?” But deep inside me, I wanted a confirmation to my decision.
I attended Mass and it was the 3rd Sunday of Easter. The words that spoke to me in the Gospel reading were “DO YOU LOVE ME?”, three times. After receiving communion, I heard that inner voice, “Do you love me?” My response was, “Yes, Lord, I love you.”
At that stage, I was asking myself, “So, am I to take a break or to lead the sheep?”
On that night, I read an article about “the making of priests” and the priest shared his discernment from the Gospel reading John 21:1-19. Thank you, Holy Spirit. “Yes, Lord, I love You, and I will journey with the sheep that you will entrust to me”.
My response: I will journey another year in the RCIA.
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