Ever see Gods providence- In spiritual reading

I have twice been reading a spiritual book everyday and the reading everyday would answer what happenned yesterday - for a few weeks. I never knew what was coming up in the book. My spiritual director told me this may happen when I started reading.
The books were Imitation of Christ, and a series of books called- In conversation with God.
I just wondered exactly how common is this. Any input is appreciated.

This has happened to me in a different form. I’d have been meditating on some question of theology, and soon after I’d find the answer in some spiritual reading. Right now, I keep being presented on the topic of “Heaven.” I am a little nervous about that development, let me tell you. My mother and I will often find that we have been thinking or reading on the same topic, each with an answer for the other.

When my mom first began to study the faith, she would find literature on her end tables dealing with whatever theology she was puzzled over. It was almost spooky. Where were these things coming from?

Of course there may be a natural explanation. Maybe I’m just noticing all the “Heaven” info. that is there all the time, but I overlook it.

Is this what you had in mind? I think God is willing to instruct us if we are not too distracted.

John,

This happens rather frequently, because God is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. (How’s that for Omni’s :smiley: )

In other words, He knows what you will ask and seek of Him before you present it in prayer, and through His Holy Spirit, He often has the answer at hand. I find that He quickens us within to recognize the simultaneous “coincidence” of it all.

For instance, one time at night before I fell asleep, I was reflecting on the position I had just accepted as a catechist to 7th graders, and I was really apprehensive about my ability to teach that age group. I formed the words in prayer, “Lord, what will I teach them?”

At that moment, a song came on my radio, to which I was pretty oblivious previously, called “The First Time Ever I Saw His Face.” Instantly, I knew what it was I should focus on with these kids — show them Jesus! Amazing, but wonderful, huh? It all happens in such an ordinary manner, but it means more to me than if I had a locution or vision after praying that petition.

Since the Spirit is active in those books you read, it is He who moves you to understand which words are for you. In the same way, when we hear the gospel at Mass, the Spirit will center everyone differently on that which is most needful, and we may all hear something totally different.

What a wonderful adventure of being guided by the Lord!

Carole

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In my experience it is very common for those who truly want to know God. ** ASK ** Ask and it shall be answered. Seek and Ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened is what Jesus promises in the Bible. I believe Jesus is TRUTH and what He says is Truth. I believe God answers our ASK’s through locutions, other people, books, songs and almost any other way you can imagine that we are open to receiving.

John,

You will never believe this timing! Barbara Therese has a thread called Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade. She invited our members to share parts of the book which were meaningful, so I pulled out my copy and went immediately to a page where I had pinched the corner down. (I do this whenever something strikes me so I can find it quickly) Guess what I found!

Spiritual reading engaged in as the result of divine action frequently has a meaning that never occurred to the author of the book. God makes use of the words and writings of others to convey hidden truth. If it is his will to enlighten us by these means, self-abandoned souls should make use of the opportunity, and any means resulting from divine action has an efficacy always transcending its natural power.

It is characteristic of the state of self-abandonment that, while the soul always leads a mysterious life, it should receive extraordinary and miraculous gifts of God through contact with natural, fortuitous events where nothing is apparent but what is in the normal order of the world and the natural elements.

Thus the simplest sermons, the most ordinary conversations and the least remarkable books become for such souls by virtue of the divine design, sources of intelligence and wisdom. (Chapter 4, Sect. 4)

Amen, and Amen!

Carole

Thats great- THANKS for your input. And thanks to all.

[quote=Joysong]John,

You will never believe this timing! Barbara Therese has a thread called Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade. She invited our members to share parts of the book which were meaningful, so I pulled out my copy and went immediately to a page where I had pinched the corner down. (I do this whenever something strikes me so I can find it quickly) Guess what I found!

Amen, and Amen!

Carole
[/quote]

All of the time…and not only in spiritual reading.

The easiest story to share with you was quite distinct.

I knew a couple who had just inherited a very small sum of money ( $10,000 to be exact). I was perplexed when they took the precious inheritance and purchased a vehicle. It made no sense to me considering the circumstances.

Within a weeks time of their purchase I read in the magazine God’s Word Among Us (daily Scriptural guide) words like these.

“What if someone inherits $10,000 upon the death of their parents…would not they be foolish to spend it on something like a car?”

The whole idea of the meditation was to help the reader realize that we should be good stewards of the money that comes our way…don’t waste it on superfluous things. Although this meditation was not intended for the foolish couple who bought the vehicle…what they did they had to live with and it was not my place to correct them…the passage did help me know which way to go in my own life.

This sort of affirmation and guidance happens all the time.

[quote=John-the-Seeker] In my experience it is very common for those who truly want to know God. ASK ****Ask and it shall be answered. Seek and Ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened is what Jesus promises in the Bible. I believe Jesus is TRUTH and what He says is Truth. I believe God answers our ASK’s through locutions, other people, books, songs and almost any other way you can imagine that we are open to receiving.

[/quote]

I agree with John-the-Seeker.

A few days before Christmas, I was getting ready to go visit my in-laws, who are usually very unpredictable and moody. As I was brushing my hair, I was listening to a wonderful program on EWTN about Luke’s Gospel, and they mentioned the story of the widow who gave two mites to the temple. I thought “It would be so cool to see a mite coin!” and then I carried on getting done. I felt quite at peace, thinking about how great Jesus is, and not as nervous as I usually am when getting ready to visit them (we never know if they will be nice or rude–it seems to alternate, and it was time for a “rude” visit). The visit turned out to be very joyful, and when I opened my gift from them, it was a Widow’s Mite necklace! I felt like it was a huge hug from God! If I were a cartoon, my jaw would have been on the floor. Things like this really help me to understand that God cares about ME, and that I’m not just a drop in the bucket, but someone he truly cares for.

Oh, and considering we have one, 1997 leaking car, and my husband drives 70 miles a day to work during the week, I think spending $10,000 on a car would be a wonderful use of that money! :smiley: He would have a reliable vehicle, and I could use the old one for driving to Daily Mass (we get rides now), taking my son to doctor’s appointments, and grocery shopping. Yeah!!

[quote=CatholicSam]Oh, and considering we have one, 1997 leaking car, and my husband drives 70 miles a day to work during the week, I think spending $10,000 on a car would be a wonderful use of that money! :smiley: He would have a reliable vehicle, and I could use the old one for driving to Daily Mass (we get rides now), taking my son to doctor’s appointments, and grocery shopping. Yeah!!
[/quote]

The year was not 2005 and wow $10,000 on a car today sounds like a deal worth taking a second look at.

This happened years back.

Your widow’s mite story is amazing!

Here is link to see a pic of a widow’s mite
wildwinds.com/coins/sg/sg6087.jpg
Who knows…maybe this was mite belonging to the widow described in the Bible.

I don’t know if my story is what you’re looking for or not.

Last summer, I was reading “Story of a Soul”, St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography. I was reading off and on and hadn’t been reading in about a week or so.

One night I had a very intense dream in which I was in a Church, and in peering through what I thought was contstruction/remodeling, I saw a woman praying…a nun. I began to back away and then caught sight of her in a specifically placed mirror. I recognized St. Therese and so I didn’t move closer to look at her directly as she was a cloistered nun and I wanted to respect that seperation.

Because I could see her reflection in the mirror, although she never spoke to me, I could see her recognize and acknowledge me with a nod and a smile. I knew I should speak…so I asked for prayers and a flower from heaven. She nodded.

It was time to go, and then I woke up. The dream was fresh and I fretted, asking, “How could I be so selfish! There I was, confronting this great Saint myself, and I asked only about myself, not about those I love who really need prayers!” I felt horrible.

That morning before Mass, I brought that book and was reading in the adoration chapel. Keep in mind…I had never before read this book.

I read the passage about her dream in which she met the foundress of her particular convent and the sisters who had gone before her. She asked if the Lord was pleased with her and asked for prayers…etc. She woke up feeling very selfish and remorseful for not requsting prayers for her Sisters in the convent and for her family outside the convent…etc.

I was so struck by the parallel, so immediately after my dream (it was morning Mass, literally only hours after my own dream and waking remorse). I think I nearly fell out of my chair in the chapel.

Was that the kind of thing you were talking about?

I’ve had the more mundane "answers"also, but the above still hits me between the eyes although for the life of me I can’t figure out the “why” of the whole incident. Apparently I didn’t learn anything other than more of an awareness that the Saints are really hearing our prayers…and that’s enough, I guess.
:o

This happened to me the other day. I was reading the readings for the Feast of the Holy Family, and in it struck me as what I was trying to say to my 16-year-old son (who is currently living away from our home right now). I was trying to find a way to convey to him what exactly it means to “honor thy mother and thy father,” and the three readings for that day expressed that beautifully. I went and copied and pasted it to an email to him - he hasn’t read it yet, but I hope it he can see the beauty of the family he has here on Earth, and how important a role each member of that family plays.

[quote=JCPhoenix]I don’t know if my story is what you’re looking for or not.

Last summer, I was reading “Story of a Soul”, St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography. I was reading off and on and hadn’t been reading in about a week or so.

One night I had a very intense dream
EDITED FOR SPACE…

I was so struck by the parallel, so immediately after my dream (it was morning Mass, literally only hours after my own dream and waking remorse). I think I nearly fell out of my chair in the chapel.

Was that the kind of thing you were talking about?

I’ve had the more mundane "answers"also, but the above still hits me between the eyes although for the life of me I can’t figure out the “why” of the whole incident. Apparently I didn’t learn anything other than more of an awareness that the Saints are really hearing our prayers…and that’s enough, I guess.
:o
[/quote]

Hello JCPhoenix and happy new year to you and all…this leapt out at me from your Post:

I think I nearly fell out of my chair in the chapel.

Was that the kind of thing you were talking about?

Smiling and laughing, but yes, I reckon that’s the sort of experience that can be included in this thread I think!..at times I too have been so ‘rocked’ by something I’ve almost fell of my chair wherever, including in chapel!:rotfl: …The Lord does have a sense of humour at times, huh? “Serve The Lord with joy all the earth!” and laughter can be a product of true joy - and joy in The Lord.

Regards - Barb

[quote=John Russell Jr]I have twice been reading a spiritual book everyday and the reading everyday would answer what happenned yesterday - for a few weeks. I never knew what was coming up in the book. My spiritual director told me this may happen when I started reading.
The books were Imitation of Christ, and a series of books called- In conversation with God.
I just wondered exactly how common is this. Any input is appreciated.
[/quote]

Excellent Thread, John…great reading…and your signature leapt out at me too!
"Saints are just sinners who keep trying"

Very True! and encouraging!

Regards, Barb

[quote=Joysong]John,

You will never believe this timing! Barbara Therese has a thread called Abandonment to Divine Providence by de Caussade. She invited our members to share parts of the book which were meaningful, so I pulled out my copy and went immediately to a page where I had pinched the corner down. (I do this whenever something strikes me so I can find it quickly) Guess what I found!

Amen, and Amen!

Carole
[/quote]

Quoting Joysong’s quote from Abandonment to Divine Providence, by de Caussade:

"it is characteristic of the state of self-abandonment that, while the soul always leads a mysterious life, it should receive extraordinary and miraculous gifts of God through contact with natural, fortuitous events where nothing is apparent but what is in the normal order of the world and the natural elements.

The above reminded me of a friend I was talking to one day and telling her of something I had read in a completely secular light novel that was entirely spiritually enlightening to me.
She remarked: “I think you could find something spiritually enlightening in* Lady Chatterley’s Lover*!”

Some time later brousing through a second hand bookshop, I came across the latter book and bought it recalling my friend’s words. I didn’t finish reading it…I hated the work and it entirely defeated me how anyone at all could recommend it from any perspective at all…and no! I did not find anything spiritually enlightening in what I did read at all!!!:smiley:

I did eventually inform my friend of the latter and she laughed until she cried, which at the time bemused me. Now I can see the joke!
Perhaps my experience with Lady Chatterley’s Lover indicates that The Holy Spirit cannot be at all predicted either! In fact, entirely unpredictable!..as Carole’s quotation from de Caussade does indicate.

Regards - Barb:)

Sure, this happens frequently.
I love the Imitation of Christ and I read In Conversation with God daily. I also enjoy Divine Intimacy daily.

Nothing happens by accident! With spiritual direction so difficult to find, this is one way the Holy Spirit personally directs us.

How good God is to us!

Ave Maria! :thumbsup:

:amen:

Originally Posted by Ave Maria!

How good God is to us!

[/quote]

smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_22_26.gif Amen…Amen!

This happens to me a lot, much more than I deserve. When I was reading and rereading Story of a Soul, this happened all the time.

The two most recent occurences were: I was reading a bit of a daily meditation book that has some of the writings of JP2. For the last couple of days, I had been really thinking about religious life, more than usually. Those days I had been thinking about being a contemplative. Well, I opened to that day’s meditation… and what did my wondering eyes should appear, but a whole page about those who are called to the contemplative life! Sort of eery for me. :eek: But I’m still 16, so Who knows what will happen?

The other most recent that sticks out in my head is that lately I’ve been praying especially for a certain person. I was starting to wonder if my prayers would really help him or if I was just fooling myself. That day, I flipped open the Bible to a passage about keeping steadfast in prayer. I read it and was pretty happy. So I turned a couple of pages, to read something else, and it had to do with praying for others! I still wanted to read something else besides, so I turned a few more pages… and more on prayer! I got the message and started praying. :slight_smile:

[quote=KatarinaTherese]This happens to me a lot, much more than I deserve. When I was reading and rereading Story of a Soul, this happened all the time.

The two most recent occurences were: I was reading a bit of a daily meditation book that has some of the writings of JP2. For the last couple of days, I had been really thinking about religious life, more than usually. Those days I had been thinking about being a contemplative. Well, I opened to that day’s meditation… and what did my wondering eyes should appear, but a whole page about those who are called to the contemplative life! Sort of eery for me. :eek: But I’m still 16, so Who knows what will happen?

The other most recent that sticks out in my head is that lately I’ve been praying especially for a certain person. I was starting to wonder if my prayers would really help him or if I was just fooling myself. That day, I flipped open the Bible to a passage about keeping steadfast in prayer. I read it and was pretty happy. So I turned a couple of pages, to read something else, and it had to do with praying for others! I still wanted to read something else besides, so I turned a few more pages… and more on prayer! I got the message and started praying. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hi there KaterinaTherese…I hope and pray you will be called to the contemplative life - we need as many as we can get for sure. You are still very young, but things will be made clear to you either way.
At 16 (60 tomorrow!) I felt called to Carmel and was accepted to enter at 21 and many things happened in the interim. I did enter however another contemplative Order, but The Lord for sure chased me out of the cloister, simply because He did not want me there. But in chasing me out, made it quite clear to me for the first time exactly where He did want me and I have never turned back from that since leaving the cloister.

Hence, my point is and even though you are still of very tender years is that The Lord will make things very clear to you in His Own Way and in following His Will whatever it may be, great joy, happiness and peace and even in turmoil and difficult times shall ensue for you. Peace be with you.

Regards Barb

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