Most of us are in tune with our bodies and our minds. When it comes to our bodies, we generally know when we are hungry, tired, or feeling energetic. The signs are obvious.
When it comes to our minds, we can also detect the signs. We know when our imagination is at work. We know when we feel peaceful and loving and when anger or resentment has the upper hand. We rely heavily on our intellect and memory. This is all part of how God created us in his image and likeness.
But the Fathers of the Church spoke about another dimension of the human person. Some, like St. Paul, called it our “spirit” or “inner self.” Others called it the “heart” or “apex of our soul.” Whatever term we use, we are describing our capacity to be in touch with God, that part of us that is most able to feel God’s presence and sense his guidance.
In this issue, we want to look at this inner, “spiritual” dimension of our lives. We want to look especially at how it helps us hear God’s voice and understand his mysteries more fully. We call this receiving “revelation” from God.
My Formula. Over the years, I have learned that if I want to hear the Lord speaking to me, I need to quiet myself down, both in body and soul. For me, this means setting aside time each morning to read and meditate on Scripture. Like Ezekiel, I have to “eat” God’s word and pray for understanding (Ezekiel 3:3; Matthew 13:14).
Next, I ask the Spirit to use Scripture to guide my day (Psalm 25:5; 32:8). This means stopping for a few minutes every couple of hours to recall what God put on my heart that morning.
I have also found that God opens my eyes through the words of other prayerful people. For instance, the words of Pope Francis have had a wonderful impact on my life, as have had those of Saints Ignatius of Loyola, John Paul II, Teresa of Ávila, and many others. There are times when something they say touches my heart and moves me to say, “The Lord has something here that he wants me to hear. I need to ponder this more deeply.”
Receive Revelation. While an x-ray or an MRI will never find my “inner heart,” I know that it’s there. Why? Because when I feel God speaking to me, I experience a special grace that doesn’t come from me, but is at work inside me, drawing me closer to Jesus. I’m convinced that what works for me will work for you. That’s because Jesus has promised all of us the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth” to guide us “to all truth” (John 16:13).
I hope this issue helps you enjoy greater intimacy with Jesus and receive revelation from him. To paraphrase St. Paul, May God give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you will know him better. May the eyes of your heart be enlightened, so that you may know all he has done for you (Ephesians 1:17-18).