A year ago, I put into my iPhone calendar on March 5, 2021 these words: “God’s Promise is Fulfilled”. At this time I was working at a job in the business world, the pandemic was becoming more of a concern, and I had not yet conceived of our ministry name, nor had I begun to even plan out this new venture.
What I had done was taken to prayer the very clear desire in my heart to start a healing ministry and discern what God was leading me to do. More than a desire; I had been receiving messages from Him over the years to start such a ministry. In essence, He had been promising to me this ministry would be led by Him and that if I took the steps He requested of me, good things would happen. Thus, I put this event in my calendar under God’s guidance to set a future date as assurance that God delivers when we trust in Him.
What’s even more wild is right around this time, a woman I had just met randomly gave me a biography on the life of Mother Angelica, the foundress of the Catholic Media conglomerate EWTN. It was amazing to see her journey in starting a new Catholic organization that seemed to sync up beautifully with mine. Many similarities took place, especially when I read how, when she was unsure about the big picture of what she was doing with her organization, God told her to simply take the next step. Reading this was shocking, as the day prior, God told me the same thing.
I brought it all to God in prayer. The pandemic was in full swing, Pope Francis held a Eucharistic Prayer ceremony in Rome, and I was 98% certain that God was calling me to move on from the business world to start a healing ministry. I just needed a little more confirmation.
On a daily run during my lunch break, I was in conversation with God. I asked Him how I could know that I should move forward with my plans. He then directed me to pray a novena for the confirmation I requested, something I had done in the past that had faithfully worked in my discernment processes. I asked God if I should pray to St. Therese of Lisieux again or a different saint. He told me to pray a novena to St. John Paul II and the sign of confirmation that I would receive would be receiving the Eucharist on the tenth day.
I almost didn’t pray it. Keep in mind, this is during shelter-in-place. You couldn’t receive the Eucharist on a Sunday at this time, let alone on a Thursday, the tenth day. I thought maybe my prayer was answered, and that God was telling me the answer was no.
I started praying the novena anyway, though I felt silly doing it. I still trusted God wanted to lead me in this way. It was the next day or the day after that things began to change and I became more hopeful.
My wife asked me if I heard the news. The Bishop announced that the Archdiocese would open Churches for Mass again a few weeks earlier than the previously announced date. My excitement was cut short by realizing that churches would only be celebrating Mass on Sundays and not my set day. I continued the novena regardless.
The next day, I was amazed when I heard that a church close by would be celebrating daily Mass. Wanting to know for certain that this was led by God, I asked my wife if I could go to Mass that week and on which day would be most convenient for her. She said yes, and did not have a preference. I went on Tuesday and Thursday, received the Eucharist on the tenth day after my novena, and began my journey with Zenith Ministries.
It has been a roller coaster ever since, but God has remained faithful every step of the way. Since its establishment, we have held several successful events, an amazing day retreat, and I have taken on clients for a one-on-one mentorship program that is having incredible results. I am absolutely blown away by God’s faithfulness and by what He is doing through this ministry! More amazing still is He is promising more! And I believe that He will once again stay true to His promise.
In this way, hearing from God has changed my life. I am so thankful to Him that He would work with someone as normal and insignificant as I am in such a way. This shows me that He wants to do this with others as well. He wants others to hear Him as well.
Since the days of the early Church, the term used to describe the method of God speaking to His children is “prophecy”. It has gained a controversial connotation in recent times, but St. Paul would disagree with the controversy as he taught we should seek to hear from God in this way. In 1 Corinthians 14, right after He delivered the most famous “love is kind” message, St. Paul said, “pursue love, but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts, above all that you may prophesy.”
To prophesy means to hear from God and share or act on it to build up the Church, which is the body of Christ. St. Paul teaches us first to pursue love, which is the highest of the theological virtues, but to “strive… eagerly” for spiritual gifts, and most of all to prophesy.
Another influential figure in the early Church, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a bishop who experienced what Paul preached, similarly taught about the wondrous gift of prophesy. To combat the controversy, he wrote, “They are truly unfortunate who, realizing there are false prophets, take this as a pretext for expelling the grace of prophecy from the Church. (Against the Heresies)” We can see through their words and other experiences from life that they share, both St. Paul and St. Irenaeus were both well practiced in hearing from God.
I didn’t understand it until recently, but God has been speaking to me in this way since even before my conversion. He has been leading me to this deep, intimate relationship with Him with many ways of communication, not only words, but also signs, feelings, moments of understanding, dreams, and more. All things that perfectly agree with the Church’s understanding and teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that we receive through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
God did not stop talking to us after Jesus came. Now we all have the chance to hold Him intimately within us through the state of grace. If anything, this makes it easier for Him to communicate with us. I invite you to listen and ask for Him to speak.
My life has greatly changed for the better since I asked God to speak clearly to me in my life. I will be honest to share that I have not always been correct in my interpretation of what He shares with me, but I am learning more every day.
It is an amazing life living with God in this way. If you are seeking to live in this deeper relationship with God, a truly fruitful experience of life, I have a few things for you to keep in mind as you grow in this relationship. The following are good tips to follow so that you can be sure that you are hearing from God and not being deceived:
- Be patient with God. Just like any relationship, this takes time to cultivate and might not come about when or how you expect. Keep seeking it, but patiently wait for God. It is worth the wait.
- Test everything. Test what you receive by bringing it to God, asking if it is Him. Check whether the message brings peace or disturbance.
- Nothing you receive can contradict the Church. This is one of the main reasons Jesus must have founded the Church. Clarity. The Catholic Church has already clarified Jesus’ teaching on several points. You can find these teachings in the Bible and the Church’s Catechism. If anything you receive goes against any of this, it is not from God.
- God doesn’t always speak in plain English. Just like we use more than mere words to communicate the vast depth of the human experience, so too does God. Invite Him to show you the many more ways that He speaks to humanity and hold on. This journey is intense, exciting, and fulfilling!
- Don’t be too literal. God is known for speaking in parables. “I have told you this in figures of speech” (John 16:25). This allows for Him to convey more meaning and depth to His words. Be open to not knowing the exact interpretation of what He shares with you, but keep asking Him to lead you to the truth He wants to give to you.
So much more is to be said on this subject that one blog post is not enough to cover even a fraction of it. If you have any questions or would like more guidance on this matter, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. God is moving in tremendous ways in 2021 and we at Zenith Ministries are excited to see more of what He is doing.