16 May, Saturday — Discernment of God’s voice in visions and messages

Saturday of 5th Week of Eastertide

Acts 16:1–10
Jn 15:18–21

“Come across to Macedonia and help us.”

Recently, I was going through a spiritual crisis in my life. As I was wondering whom I should reach out to, I received a text from one of my Catholic friends, whom I had not communicated with for a long time, asking me how I was.

My heart was flooded with immense relief when I heard from her. I was wondering how she knew I needed help. Thankfully, she offered to be my spiritual companion and has been providing me with spiritual support ever since.

It is amazing that St Paul heeded the vision immediately in today’s first reading. I too could sense when someone close to me was in danger, but sometimes, I wonder whether it was really a message from God. It could possibly be a figment of my imagination, or worse still, a message from the evil spirits. How could we possibly discern when a vision or even a message is indeed from God or from the devil?

Saints have reported that if a vision comes from God, they felt a sense of peace and calmness, whereas if it comes from the devil, there would be no peace.

Still, it takes a lot of discernment and prayer to figure out if a message is truly from God. We need to stay close to Christ, and listen to Him carefully, without being distracted by the voices of the world. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches.” (Jn 15:5) If we are close to Jesus, we will be able to differentiate between the good and evil more easily.

(Today’s Oxygen by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to be close to You and be able to tell whether any vision or message that we receive is coming from you or not. Please keep us safe from evil. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the gift to be able to discern whether it is You who has sent us any vision or message. Help us to have the courage and discernment like St Paul to help those who are in need of Your mercy and grace. Amen.

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