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Hearing the Voice of God
Vicky Spalding focuses on educating others to His Word
Story by Tina Wagner
Vicky Spalding refers to herself as a "cradle Catholic." As a young girl
with five siblings reared by Catholic parents, she attended 12 years of
Catholic school and received the sacraments of the Catholic Church. "I
attended mass every Sunday," she explains, "until I got older and
drifted from the church." Yet after a period away from actively
practicing her Catholic faith, she was invited back in an unusual way.
As a young woman, she married Sam Spalding. Now 32 years later, the Hollywood couple, has two children. As her own children grew, she found herself in the mid-1990s feeling "very empty." "I had been away from the sacraments for many years," she said, "and I started having a deep longing to experience a more personal relationship with God. I said a small prayer asking Jesus to please help me return back home to Him." Soon, her prayers were answered. One day in January, 1995, she was driving past an outdoor shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes (located on private property), on her lunch break, when felt an interior thought that was prompting her to "stop in." Ignoring the thought at first, Vicky decided that if she had time on the way back she would. "On my drive back to work, the thought came again," she says "and so I pulled over into the shrine's parking lot, got out of my car, and approached the outdoor grotto. While I was standing in front of Our Lady's statue, I felt what I can only describe as a sense of electricity. It ran from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. At the same time, I heard these words interiorly, very loudly and clearly. The voice said, 'Receive these graces from my beloved Son, in whom, thou have been greatly blessed.'"
Sensing something special had taken place, she pondered these words and spoke to a priest who quickly discerned that the words were spoken to her by the Blessed Mother. Thus began Vicky's journey as a locutionist, a person who receives interior messages from God and is chosen by God to share those messages, she explains, "to build up the body of the church."
The word, locution, comes from the Latin word, "to speak." "Locutions are not something strange or sensational," Vicky says, "but are a mystical phenomenon present in the life of the church and described in manuals of spiritual theology. A locutionist does not see with the eyes," she further explains, "as in an apparition, or hear audibly with the ears, nor do they simply receive good inspirations given by the Holy Spirit. A locutionist hears inwardly the voice of God in their heart and mind." Vicky admits that because at first she did not understand this gift she feared and doubted it. Under the spiritual direction of a Jesuit priest, to whom she was referred by church authority, Vicky came to realize that she had been given a special spiritual gift and that she fully intended to do the Lord's work with it. "I didn't think that what was happening to me was possible," she explains, "but God was very patient with me and he gave me many holy priests to help me discern, and I soon realized that you can never logically understand the supernatural."
Vicky says that the messages she receives are ones of "hope, love, and mercy from God." She explains, "He reveals His love for us and calls His people to repentance, asking them to turn away from sin and to trust in Him for all their needs. The messages also invite us into a deeper prayer life and a more personal relationship with our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, in order that we may one day share eternal happiness with Him and His Father. They remind us of the importance of Gospel living and encourage us to be a witness of God's love and presence in the world." Once a month, the message that Vicky receives is read out loud at a healing service, following the holy sacrifice of the Mass at St. Mary's of the Assumption in Upper Marlboro. "After the message, I give a short reflection on the meaning of the message, and then each person is encouraged to come forward to receive an individual blessing from God, through the laying on of hands from the priest," she says.
Vicky is also a Secular (lay) Franciscan, serving as Minister (president) of her fraternity at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC. She has authored three books, The Canticle of God the Father, My Love for Mankind and Mother of Light and Humility; she says all have been divinely inspired. The Archdiocese of Washington is aware that Vicky speaks publicly about her Franciscanism and her love for God. Her focus is never to speak about her personal experiences or the gift that God has given to her, but only to educate others on the mercy of God and His love for them.
Vicky's books can be ordered through her website: www.myfathersmercy.com or from P.O. Box 856, Hollywood, MD 20636. The books are $10 each, plus $3 per one book shipping and handling, $5 for 2 or more books for shipping and handling.
Listening for God
Vicky tells us that we can all listen for God's voice. She offers these suggestions:
"The first way we get to know someone is through hearing about them, and then if we want to get to know them better, we start spending time with them. It is the same way with God. In order to have a relationship with God, you must first ask Him to personally come into your life. Simply say, "Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Please come into my heart." Then, every day, seek a quiet time to spend with Him. You can start out with ten minutes at first, but the key is to be consistent. And don't get discouraged if you don't hear anything at first. That is your gift to God, and if you do receive consolation in your heart, then that is God's gift to you.
"I teach people to do something that is known as journaling. It simply means taking a notebook or paper and writing down your thoughts during the quiet time you spend with Jesus. You can start out by saying, "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening." If you want to know if your thoughts are from God, you can look for three things. Are you in a state of grace? Do the words line up with scripture? Finally, ask yourself if your thoughts leave you peaceful and closer to the Lord."
Vicky reminds us that the Lord speaks to different people in different ways. "To some, it may be a thought or divine inspiration, the divine light given by the Holy Spirit," she says. "To others, it may simply be a knowing, an enlightenment. But the most important thing is that we should first dispose ourselves to spend quiet time with Jesus. The more we spend time with the Lord, the more accustomed we will become to the manner in which He wants to speak to us as an individual, and the more we will learn His Father's perfect will in our lives."
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