Today I had the privilege of being a prophet . . . twice!
It was not the future vision type of prophecy, nor the ‘have a medal struck’ or ‘institute a feast day’ type of prophecy. It was just an ordinary, everyday prophecy as the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains,
“Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 64).
These are lofty words for what I am calling everyday prophecy, and though I made up the name, the belief is founded solidly on our Catholic teaching that through Baptism,
“we are anointed by the Holy Spirit, incorporated into Christ who is anointed priest, prophet, and king,” (CCC, no. 1241).
Through this anointing, Christians are given the charism (special gift) of prophecy to act on promptings of the Holy Spirit to help build up the Church, one soul to another. This understanding was proclaimed by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council in the Document on the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church titled, Lumen Gentium (Light to the Nations). They wrote,
“It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, “allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills, He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit, (LG, 12).”
Here are two experiences that challenged me to respond to my baptismal anointing to help build up the Church:
- On my way out the door this morning to attend Mass, I grabbed a Rosary bracelet given to me that was touched to the Tomb of Christ during a recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It sat on my dresser since I got it, but for some unknown reason this morning, I picked it up and put it on my wrist. When I arrived at Church, I came face-to-face with a woman coming out of the restroom as I was going in. I asked how she was doing. She told me she was going in for a life-threatening surgery next week and asked for prayers. While I was sitting in Adoration before Mass a thought came, ‘Give her the Rosary bracelet.’ With this thought, I looked up at the Blessed Sacrament and the words to share with her came pouring into my heart, “Tell her whatever happens, I am with her. She will receive new life in Me.” I got up, found her sitting in a pew, and did as I was told. With my task complete, I left her so she could have time alone to thank the Lord for his gifts.
- An opportunity came from someone through whom I received the grace of a miracle healing over a decade ago. How she was able to connect with me after such a long time I knew could only be the work of the Holy Spirit, so when she told me she needed my help with a writing project, I went to see her. As she spoke, I prayed quietly to the Holy Spirit to guide me on how to help her as my writing schedule is already full of writing deadlines. As I listened, the truth she needed to hear came to my lips, “What you have written is good, ” I said, “I believe you are being tempted to doubt yourself.” I could tell by how she immediately closed her eyes, bowed her head, clasped her hands in prayer, and whispered, “Thank you, Lord,” this was exactly what she needed to hear, and all that was required of me. I thanked God with her for as the bishops state further in Lumen Gentium,
“These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church, (LG, 12).”
All that acting on these promptings of the Holy Spirit cost me was one Rosary bracelet I can have replaced (a perk at working at Pilgrim Center of Hope!) and an hour and half of my time. What I received was so much more . . . the profound blessing of collaborating with God to build up his Church.
Knowing When To Act
It is a challenge to know if a thought to act comes from the Holy Spirit. As Jesus tells us in regard to the Holy Spirit,
“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit, (John 3:8).”
If the thought prompts you to help, console or encourage another, it is worth the risk.
A quick prayer to offer before you act, “Come Holy Spirit, help me do Your Will and only your Will.” Then go!
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.