Friday, March 5, 2010

Voice IV

Not long after I started to receive verbal taskings, I began to have some doubts, mostly put into my head when others started questioning me about these experiences. In the early days after my conversion, I shared these experiences openly, thinking that all believers have them.

One of the people who questioned what I was telling him suggested that I ask for a sign that the Voice was indeed divine. About the same time, the Voice had become quieter in speaking to me, not that it ever was very loud, ebbing into more of a whisper then a voice. So, the next time I heard it, I said, “I cannot hear You,” and the message was repeated more audibly (to my ear, anyway).

“How do I know this is You?” I asked. “Please give me a sign that it is Your voice that I am hearing.”

“I will not give you a sign,” the Voice responded. “Trust that it is My voice the way you trusted me to heal your employee.” (That incident is recounted in my conversion story, and it was indeed a moment of pure trust.)

After that I have trusted although I have upon occasion sought the advice of priests. Thank God for Fr. Barry, the 82-year-old priest who has seen so much that whatever I tell him neither overwhelms nor underwhelms him.

About this same time, I learned that not all believers interact with God in this way. In fact, most tell me that they have never heard this Voice. With time, I began to feel that something might be wrong with me —- until I was invited to the prayer group at our mission, which I now co-lead, and learned that I was not alone.

Truly, I do not understand why God chooses to interact with different people differently. I can suppose that it is because we are different, but only God really knows why.

Nor do I understand why God chose to reach out, grab me, and thrust me into a cosmic nutcracker or give me verbal taskings, but I could guess that it may be because I can be what Russians call “tugodum” (thick-headed). Subtle things I don't always pick up on.

But, again, only God really knows why. I accept that this is the why God has chosen to communicate with me, take the incoming messages to a priest if I feel the need for confirmation, and march off in the direction in which I have been sent, hoping and praying that I won’t screw up too much of what I have been asked to do. As Jean-Pierre Caussade wrote in Abandonment to Divine Providence, “Perfection consists in doing the will of God, not in understanding His designs.” Over time (and not without moments of regression), I have given up my intense need to understand, and in doing that I have achieved an immense level of peace.