Interior Castle – Sixth Mansions – Chapter 3
The Third Sign a Direct Message Comes from God
In prior posts we learned direct messages/personal revelation can come from God. We learn about direct messages not only to discern present and future “locutions”, but also to identify where God has spoken to us in the past.
Some Christians may have learned they couldn’t receive personal revelation from God: That God only speaks to them through the Bible. Yet, deep in their souls, they know God has spoken to them directly. Confused, they neither ignored the message nor embraced the message. Rather, they moved those messages to the periphery of their Christian experience. Decades later they’ve evolved in their understanding of the Christian life and are ready to hear those past messages. They sense they have a rich history with God they were told to ignore.
Whether we explore past messages or discover future messages, we need guidelines to distinguish “locutions” that come from God from messages coming from our imagination or the devil. Teresa teaches us that locutions from God align with the scriptures and include several signs:
- The first sign a locution comes from God is it bears a sense of power and authority.
- The second sign a locution comes from God is there will be great tranquility in the soul.
- The third sign a locution comes from God is the words do not vanish from our memory.
The third sign is our topic today. When God speaks to our souls, He engraves the words upon our memory. At various points in our lives, we’ve listened to outstanding speakers, received counsel by wise people, or read profound books. But their messages don’t penetrate our hearts and minds the way God’s personal revelation does.
After we receive these locutions, God will sometimes leave us waiting without any activity from Him. We begin to doubt what we heard. Our “intellect wavers”* and fulfillment of His original message seems impossible. The devil tries to exploit our doubts. But “there is an assurance in the soul itself that cannot be overcome. Even though it seems that everything is going contrary to what the soul understood, and the years go by, the thought remains that God will find other means . . . and that in the end the words will be accomplished; and so they are.”* We may have occasional doubts, but “none of these doubts remain in the soul” and it would “die a thousand deaths for [the] truth” God gave us.*
That personal revelation may have come decades ago, but the words are still engraved in your memory. I encourage you to act in faith on what God has given you.
* For this post I used a translation of the Interior Castle by Kieran Kavanaugh O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez O.C.D., ICS Publications, Institute of Carmelite Studies: Washington D.C.