It has not happened in awhile, but it does now and then. The Lord does speak to us in many ways; sometimes it is His Voice. His Voice can be within, interior, or without, audible to the external senses.
In the wee hours, this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit was awakened by a distinctly audible voice saying, "Look at ME."
The voice was loud enough to abruptly shake the hermit from its sleep. Immediate reaction: Who is in here? Grab the flashlight and shine toward door opening, asking back, "What is it you want?"
In fact, the hermit was so taken back initially that it thought somehow perhaps it was at the daughter's home, and the grandson maybe called out, asking his grandmother to "look at" him. But no, even before grabbing the flashlight to see who was there, the hermit was awake enough then to know it was on the mattress on the floor of the hermitage. Was it an intruder, some imbalanced person asking the home owner to look at him?
No one was in the doorway. This hermit is well enough acquainted with locutions as well as with termporal reasons and answers, that this was easily recognized and discerned as God speaking. (It was not a child's voice, although one cannot refute that Jesus can speak to us as He was as a Child.) It could be God speaking through the hermit's angel, or God speaking through a saint, or God speaking through His Son. Or, it could be God Himself, His Real Presence in oneness of the Trinity, by the power of the Holy Spirit, speaking, abjuring the hermit to look at HIM.
Regardless by Who or from whom the message was pronounced, audibly, firmly, loudly enough to awaken a mortal from a sound sleep (interrupted dream having no connection at all with the message spoken). As soon as the hermit discerned the message to be not temporal but yet tangible, it knew the reason, the import.
"Look at ME."
This is easy enough to figure out. This nothing consecrated Catholic hermit has been looking at all kinds of situations, people, things--distractions, all. It has been following the political scene far too much and closely. It has been internet researching with intent an appliance and other materials and ideas for use in the renovation tasks. It has been distracted by grieving not being able to go to the parish closest, even though it is plenty far away. It has been distracted by researching possible parishes with proactive and spiritually focused shepherd and flock. Distractions! Looking at all kinds of people, things, situations--when all that is asked of this hermit by God is to look at Him!
So in the darkness, the hermit began thinking of Jesus. It looked at Jesus on the cross, at Jesus standing in the doorway, imploring the hermit, saying "Look at ME." The hermit thought of Samuel when he heard the Voice call his name, audibly, distinctly, in the night so many centuries ago in another part of this world. And it thought about Samuel's response once Eli the prophet explained to Samuel it was the Lord speaking, and how Samuel was to respond.
So this hermit responded likewise even if a few minutes after hearing the Voice, here, now. "Here I am, Lord, I have come to do Your will. I will look at YOU! I am sorry that I have looked elsewhere far too much lately. I will stop looking so much at all else but will focus on looking at YOU."
After an hour or so of mulling and looking within at Jesus, within, and reading the Living Word of God for today's Mass readings, the hermit fell back asleep. Upon awakening in the dawn, this time without being awakened by any voice, human or of God, the hermit at first started to think of various distractions, started to look at some news, then a product researched, and then yet another parish bulletin and Mapquest directions and length of time to drive to this one or that one which were notably vibrant and strong in the Catholic faith and spiritual life.
Then the hermit remembered: Look at ME.
It shut off the distracting thoughts, and thought-flashed to the Lord, "Yes, Lord, I will look at YOU."
And so it is, and so it will, even though not perfectly, of course, for looking at distractions can be quite habit-forming. But so can looking at Jesus be just as habit-forming--but a good habit, for sure.
God bless His Real Presence in us! Little children, let us love one another, for God Is Love!