It is obvious that God is alive, and He wanted to reveal Himself to human beings so that we could know Him. There are various channels that God uses to make Himself heard. Sacred Scripture, which is His living Word, is one way that He speaks to us, above all in the Gospels that bring together the message, miracles, life, and death of Jesus. However, we can´t just interpret Scripture however we want or whatever we want it to say. It has to be understood as the Catholic Church through what is called her Magisterium, or teaching authority. Through the Catholic Church, because she is assisted by the Holy Spirit, we receive the true meaning of Scripture.
Nature is another way that God has of getting through to us. All of creation is His. In a sense, it is a “book” where we can “read” about God. You can understand an author through his works.
God also talks to us by means of the Catholic Church, her liturgy, and when priests give their homilies.
Another common way that God has to address us is through our conscience. Everyone has had the experience of “feeling” God’s voice which speaks to their hearts, either approving or correcting our actions. There is something that tells us that this voice that we hear in a quiet place in the deepest part of us is not our own. We have to educate our conscience correctly, because if we don’t listen to God speaking to us, we could end up becoming deaf to what He has to say. It is not our conscience that decides if something is good or bad – it has to learn what is good and what is bad, in order to judge appropriately about what you are about to do and in order to help you to make the right decision.
It is certain that we can “hear” other voices in our hearts: the voice of our own selfishness; the voice of the world that seduces us with its way of life and its mindset; the voice of the devil that “goes about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” How can you tell who is speaking then? A good way to not let yourself be duped and to not let yourself be tricked into thinking that your own desires or the voice of the world are God’s voice, is to have someone who can orient you, a spiritual director or a spiritual guide. They can help us to recognize God’s voice, to determine what really is coming from Him.
As a general guideline, God’s voice never asks us to do something that is evil, He always leads us to become even better, to love Him more, and to help our brothers and sisters. We can be sure that everything Jesus said in the Gospel’s is God’s Word. God cannot tell us something that goes against what He Himself has already said or left written down. He is not going to ask us to go against the Commandments that he gave us.
In order to better recognize God’s voice, is a good idea to ask the Holy Spirit for help often, asking for His light and that He help you out. And whenever you’re in doubt, you can always ask a priest, a religious, a sister, or someone who is well-informed about their faith.
Answer given by Fr. Félix López, S.H.M.
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