Imagine how excited you would be if the celebrity, singer, speaker, or actor that you admire most in the world intentionally smiled at you and waved from afar, just to show that he or she acknowledged your existence. How much more excited would you be if that person actually shook your hand?
What would blow my mind even more than those two thrilling circumstances would be if that person came up to me and said, “Ashley! How are you doing?”
There’s something special about a person saying our name; I would even say that there’s something about a person speaking directly to us that touches our core— our soul.
Why is this? It's because man was “not made to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). In fact, the powerful Church document Gaudium et Spes tells us that man’s dignity comes precisely from his call to communion with God.
One of THE most incredible, mysterious, beautiful, and truly awe-some realities I can think of is the fact that God speaks to us, His creatures. The King of Heaven and Earth, who holds each of us in existence by His very thought, speaks to us!
How Does God Speak to Us?
God communicates with us in many ways. He speaks to us through His Word in the Scriptures; He speaks to us through traditions handed down over thousands of years; and He speaks to us through the teachings of the Church.
He also speaks through the natural world, through created beauty, through music, and through the people and circumstances we encounter every day.
Sometimes, God even speaks to people directly.
Many have attempted to capture or recreate this reality, as in the devotional known as “Jesus Calling.” However, instead of relying on a personal interpretation of what God might say to someone (which can be dangerous, if the theology behind it is mistaken) we can actually pray with the writings of saints who received private revelations from Christ Himself!
The Church has officially approved some of these external visions and interior locutions, meaning that the faithful are free—and even encouraged—to read and receive nourishment and grace for daily living from these writings.
Five such accounts come from female saints from a wide range of countries, centuries, and personalities: St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Sr. Josepha Menendez, St. Gertrude the Great, and St. Catherine of Siena.
Christ and Our Lady appear to St. Catherine of Siena
Some of the language God uses when speaking to these holy women is incredibly tender and down-to-earth, while other parts show His glory as the Father who can do all things. All of it overflows from the heart of the God Whose love is so great that He almost can't help but pour that love out on us.
I’d like to share some incredibly beautiful passages I’ve encountered in the stories of the five holy women I mentioned; and to make it easier I’ve organized them by topic.
I greatly encourage you to take these passages to prayer and ask God to enlighten and encourage you through them!
On Prayer and Union
"Oh, best beloved daughter, how glorious is that soul who has indeed been able to pass from the stormy ocean to Me, the Sea Pacific, and in that Sea, which is Myself, the Supreme and Eternal Deity, to fill the pitcher of her heart." – To St. Catherine of Siena
"Come…enter My Heart. How easy it is for a mere nothing to lose itself in that abyss of love…I will act through you, speak through you, and make Myself known through you. How many will find life in My words! How many will take new courage as they understand the fruit to be drawn from their efforts! A little act of generosity, of patience, of poverty…may become treasures that will win a great number of souls to My Heart." – To Sr. Josepha Menendez
On Trust and Confidence
"Fear nothing. I shall be thy strength. Listen only to what I desire of thee to prepare thee for the accomplishment of My designs." – To St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. Oh, how much I am hurt by a soul’s distrust! Such a soul professes that I am Holy and Just, but does not believe that I am Mercy and does not trust in My Goodness. Even the devils glorify My Justice but do not believe in My Goodness." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"Your salvation is at hand; why are you consumed with grief? Have you no counselor, that you are so changed by sadness? I will save you, I will deliver you; fear not." — To St. Gertrude the Great
"O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy...My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"It is impossible that anyone should not receive all that he has believed and hoped to obtain. It gives me real pleasure when men hope great things from Me and I will always grant them more than they expect." — To St. Gertrude the Great
On His Love and Mercy
"I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy…Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"Oh, best-beloved, dearest and sweetest daughter, my spouse! Rise out of thyself, and open the eye of thy intellect to see Me, the Infinite Goodness, and the ineffable love which I have towards thee and My other servants." – To St. Catherine of Siena
"If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love." –To St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
The Sacred Heart appears to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of My mercy." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
“My heart is so passionately in love with men that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent charity. It must pour them out by thy means, and manifest itself to them to enrich them with its precious treasures, which contain all the graces of which they have need to be saved from perdition.” –To St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all would be drowned in the unmeasurable depths of My mercy." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"My Heart is enkindled with such glowing love for thee that if it were beneficial for thy salvation and thou couldst not be saved in any other way, I would for thee alone endure all that I suffered for the whole world!" - To St. Gertrude the Great
On Practical Virtue and Daily Holiness
"My daughter…do not value any external thing too highly, even if it were to seem very precious to you. Let go of yourself, and abide with Me continually. Entrust everything to Me and do nothing on your own, and you will always have great freedom of spirit. No circumstances or events will ever be able to upset you. Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like. Do not make excuses for yourself, it will do you no harm." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"The soul who constantly unites her life with Mine glorifies Me and does a great work for souls. Thus, if engaged in work of no value in itself…if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I Myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly profit souls…more perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world…and that, whether she studies, speaks or writes…whether she sews, sweeps or rests…provided first that the act is sanctioned by obedience or duty and not done from mere caprice; secondly; that it is done in intimate union with Me, and with great purity of intention and covered with My Blood." – To Sr. Josepha Menendez
"Give away everything at the first sign of a demand, even if they were the most necessary things. Do not ask for anything without consulting Me. Allow them to take away even what is due you – respect, your good name – let your spirit rise above all that. And so, set free from everything, rest close to My Heart, not allowing your peace to be disturbed by anything." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
On the Eucharist
"My delight is to be united with you. With great desire, I wait and long for the time when I shall take up My residence sacramentally." – To St. Faustina Kowalska
"See in what an excellent state is the soul who receives, as she should, this Bread of Life, this Food of the Angels. By receiving this sacrament she dwells in Me and I in her, as the fish in the sea and the sea in the fish – thus do I dwell in the soul, and the soul in Me – the Sea Pacific…I leave you the imprint of grace, as does a seal, which, when lifted from the hot wax upon which it has been impressed, leaves behind its imprint, so the virtue of this Sacrament remains in the soul, that is to say, the heat of My Divine charity." – To St. Catherine of Siena
Jan van Kessel - Still Life of Flowers and Grapes Encircling a Monstrance in a Niche
Thirsting For More?
All of the quotes above are excerpts taken from books written by or about these beautiful women of God. If these words have inspired you or touched your heart, click on the full book titles below!