In my prayer life these past few weeks, I have felt the Lord repeating the word “gentle” to me over and over again. The inspiration first arose several months ago when I was reading a passage from the Philokalia. In this work, one of the monks explained that the fruit of true fasting and penance is gentleness. Since then, it seems to come up constantly in the Scripture, homilies, and conversations. Although this is not dramatic by any stretch of the imagination, I would call it a word of prophecy. I believe that it is a word given to me as a means of transformation. It has become a word that has shaped how I see myself, how I see others, and how I have been working with groups.
When people tend to think of prophecy, they tend to think of dramatic visions that foretell the future. Although some prophecy certainly has this miraculous feel to it, I would argue that there is also an everyday kind of prophecy in which we hear our Lord speaking to us and respond to His voice. It is my belief that God wants to give us words of prophecy for ourselves and our communities, all through the working of our interior dialogue.
In this way, our Lord wants to communicate His love and His consolation through the working of our natural faculties which are elevated and united to His divine life through the sacraments. In the sacraments and in the Word of God, we receive the nourishment and wisdom needed to discern our Lord speaking to us. How the Lord moves and inspires us must be discerned through carefully listening to our thoughts, feelings and desires, and then sifting through what comes from the Holy Spirit and what does not.
It also takes boldness. We must have the conviction that our Lord wants to direct our daily lives and that he wants to be an integral part of decision making. We must learn to invite him in, and patiently walk through the different experiences that arise. In addition, discernment must be grounded in and authenticated by the authority of the Church. This safeguards our intuition by grounding it in obedience to the community, an obedience that prevents us from becoming self-centered and egocentric.
So today, have the boldness to believe that God wants to speak a word of prophecy to you. Believe that our Lord wants you to be a voice that shares the good news with the world, the good news that is the fruit of intimacy with Him. In this way, dare to speak a word of prophecy that can transform your life and that of your community.