I was well into my sixties before I ever gave even a passing thought to prophecy. Why would I? It was nothing that came up in every day conversation. Sure, I knew the word. It reminded me of the Delphic oracle and prophets in the Bible, people of long ago, akin to Greek gods or Socrates, maybe real, maybe not, who cares?   I knew that the Creed in the mass said that God “spoke through the prophets.”  That, too, meant little to me.  All the stuff in the Old Testament was just prelude to the New Testament when God actually appeared on earth and gave us the low down.

Once I got into a prayer group in the 1970s I soon became acquainted with the chapter in Joel in which God promises to send his Spirit:

“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit -“

This promise is repeated in Acts 2:17.  I wouldn’t have paid much attention to this, either, except some people in the prayer group started getting prophecies.  They would speak, as God, in the first person.  We weren’t supposed to accept it as “from God” unless it agreed with what the Bible said and was confirmed by someone or something else.

It was Father Joe’s idea that we gather as small groups in people’s homes.  There were four in my group, Betty, MaryEllen, (both now deceased), and I’m vague about the fourth.  It was all new to us, this gathering and praying stuff, but we gave it a try.   We were not to chat until after the hour of prayer.  With a little soft music in the background, we tried to center on God.  It was during one of the earliest of such gatherings that MaryEllen shook a little and came out with something that God had to say about “oil.”  It was just a couple of sentences but it turned out to be the first of many prophecies that she was to receive. Nobody wrote it down.

I took it all with a grain of salt.  During that time period, however, one morning in my bedroom I heard a male voice which said, “My people, I love you, do not be afraid.”   Well, of course it agreed with scripture.  God says practically nothing else.  Nobody was impressed when I reported this message at a prayer meeting.  Soon after that came my second (and last) prophecy.  No voice this time; words just dropped into my head.  They were:  “Repent.  The Lord is nigh.” When I went to mass that morning the lector read, “Reform your lives. The kingdom of God is at hand.”   Mind you, that was thirty years ago!  I considered it confirmed then but I’m still waiting for His coming.

The thing about believing in prophecy is that I knew the people who were prophesying. It just didn’t seem likely that they were making these messages up out of whole cloth. Eventually MaryEllen came up with a prophecy I’ve written about before which resulted in a vigil held every night in someone’s home to seek the Lord. I have a loose-leaf book full of prophecies received in those meetings. The day came just a couple of years ago when MaryEllen was in the nursing home and I brought her a copy of her 1982 prophecy. Her only comment after we read it aloud was, “Where did the words come from?”

I’ve asked a few people who have said “The Lord told me…..” whether they actually heard a voice. Usually the response is that the thought just came to them and they thought the thought was from God.

At this point in my life I have heard so many testimonies, read so many books, heard about so many saints that I have no doubt that God is involved in our day to day life and can and does communicate with us when he so pleases.   Just read about how God commissioned Saint Faustina to produce a painting depicting his Divine Mercy. Read about Juan Diego and how the tilma showing of Our Lady of Guadalupe came about.  Read the story of Padre Pio and his stigmata.

Compared with such marvelous events, it seems a small thing that God might now and then say a word to us ordinary mortals.  He has said, has he not, that those who seek the Lord will find him? He will not leave us orphans.