This may seem like a silly question but it is something I have become aware of as late and I do not know if it is something which I should trust in or not. I don’t know what it is but I feel as if God is speaking to me in my mind. What I mean is, of course I am not saying that another voice is in my head. Calling it a voice would be incorrect as well, perhaps thoughts is a better term, but I feel as if God is speaking to me in my mind. I don’t know if I should believe that though as it could just be my thoughts or a trick or something. Does God speak to us in our minds? How do we know if it is Him or not?
Tell a priest, ask for his advice, perhaps even spiritual direction.
I don’t mean to sound rude, but what do you mean? Are you saying I am crazy? haha
First…your question is not silly or strange…it is of paramount importance.
I agree with the Eucharisted…you should talk to a priest and get some spiritual direction…but I would add…do some “spiritual-heavy lifting” for yourself…beyond what any of us may/can offer you (I say this in charity and fellowship). There are great resources out there…and then when you do meet with a priest or spiritual counselor…you will be so be so much more ready to hear not their voice…but the voice of God in the person of the Holy Spirit.
A couple of thoughts…paraphrased/taken form Father Ken Sedlak, C.Ss.R (Redemptorist–founder St. Alphonsus Liguori):
The basic question you are asking (given your concern about discerning if the voice you perceive in your mind/hear)…is it you?..listening to yourself?..or are you listening to the “bad guys” (devil and his evil spirits)?..or are you listening to…or could it be…God Himself?
In essence you are asking…Who am I? The key rather is to ask…Whose am I?
Read this scripture parable by Jesus:
Matthew 13:45-46 (New International Version)
45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
Who represents you…in the parable? Most of us say that we are the “merchant”…we find God…the great pearl…go sell everything to get it…or something like that .
Now here is Jesus’ “punch line” for this parable…that can only be illumined and explained to us by His Holy Spirit…that voice in our mind/consciousness…that gives us all of our holy ideas and all of our inspirations…YOU ARE THE PEARL!!..and God is the Merchant…who gives everything FOR YOU – His only begotten Son…who became incarnate…suffered…bitterly and brutally tortured and was nailed to a cross…crucified and died an ignominious death…why?..so the Merchant…God…can “buy” you for Himself…as His adopted son…to be with Him forever in His family…for eternity…in joyful love! It is absolutely…crazy…it doesn’t make any sense…but it is so very TRUE!
John 3:16 (New International Version)
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
When we read the parable with ourselves as the merchant…working to get the pearl…we are living in an illusion…when we read it with God as the merchant…we are living in reality…the reality of love…that God is Love…and He has and continues to give everything for us…so that we are not lost…and not abandoned (even in our sinfulness…our wickedness…)…but found! Basically…we can be God’s enemy (our free will)…but God can’t be our enemy! (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa OFM-Papal Preacher).
1 John 4:16 (New International Version)
16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
Lastly, a recommendation book…I love this book because Mr. Martin…lets the saints give you spiritual guidance and speak to you directly…on so many spiritual journey issues…Mr. Martin is like a tour guide…narrator…coach on the sidelines. the “big seven” saints he uses are: Saints…Augustine, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, John of the Cross, Bernard of Clairvaux Catherine of Siena, and Francis de Sales (there are others quoted…but these are the primary Spiritual Doctors of the Church
The Fulfillment of All Desire ***A Guidebook to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints **by Ralph Martin (@ $18.00)
Description Ralph Martin, drawing upon the teaching of seven acknowledged “Spiritual Doctors” of the Church, presents an in-depth study of the journey to God. This book provides encouragement and direction for the pilgrim who desires to know, love, and serve our Lord. Whether the reader is beginning the spiritual journey or has been traveling the road for many years, he will find a treasure of wisdom in The Fulfillment of All Desire. It is destined to be a modern classic on the spiritual life.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., founder of Friars of the Renewal and author of many books on the spiritual life, including Spiritual Passages and The Journey to God praised this latest book from Ralph Martin: “This is a book to keep at your place of prayer for years to come. Ralph Martin has given us the fruit of years of study of the spiritual life in the great Catholic tradition. It is a treasure chest of quotations of the greatest writers on the journey to God. Careful reading and rereading will be a source of powerful inspiration for all those on the spiritual journey.”
Hope this is helpful…I offer it simply for your consideration.
God talks to us through our conscience and our ability to rationalise a problem rightly or wrongly (being human!)…When I have a problem I start an argument with God, knowing full well that I will lose the argument…I need to have that argument because as a human I will try to bend His rules to suit my argument but He knows that I fully understand His rules and eventually I end up in compliance with His desires…He was talking to me the whole time and leading me in the right direction…Then there are the times you don’t hear His voice for a long period and my prayer goes something like this…“You are not listening to me,are You? You are just ignoring me, aren’t You?”…and then from on deep comes the voice “Oh yes I am listening to you!”…the voice is really saying “You know very well that I am listening.because I taught you that I hear all things”…and finally there’s the time you pray for something (really hard prayer too!) and He won’t give you what you are looking for and a suitably long time elapses before the penny drops inside your brain,darn it, I’m not getting that favour!..the voice returns "Don’t pray to Me for something that you can do for yourself!"
So, brothers and sisters, the Voice is always there…listen carefully and you will hear it
Others have already recommended talking to a priest, but some practical info:
-are these thoughts in any way encouraging you to do anything contrary to the Church and her teachings? If so, then they aren’t of God
-are these thoughts persistently plaguing you and giving you undue anxiety? (scruples is what I’m referring to here)
-sometimes it will seem like a “theme” or some such thing is given to someone, often times there will be several confirmations within a brief period of time…for example one may be listening to a homily and the priest mentions “entrusting your cares to Our Lady’s intercession” or some such thing, and it may STICK in your heart and jump out at you, bringing a deep sense of peace, then the next day you happen to come across an article on the very same topic. Such inspirations, being good for everyone, are certainly worth meditating and praying over, and seeking to further develop.
-someone said the Holy Spirit speaks to us, oh, around 1000 times per day :), we just don’t usually recognize Him.