If Jesus suddenly appeared in front of us, as happened to a couple of friends of mine over the years, it would be hard not to listen to Him. If He spoke to you directly, so that you were aware of His voice, even if you only heard it in your heart, again it would be hard not to listen to Him. In both of these instances, our senses would sharpen, and we would know that we know that it is Him.
Though Jesus can present Himself in either of these ways, He seldom does. Instead He uses those who trust Him, and even periodically some who don't, to speak His words for Him.
Two excellent examples of this are Charlie Johnston from the southern USA, and Mark Mallett from Western Canada. Both are modern day prophets, who have through prayer and fasting and frequent reception of the sacraments, attuned themselves to hear what Jesus is saying today, and have offered themselves up for the body of Christ to discern what they believe they are hearing and then share it, as it is appropriate to do, to those who have ears to hear. Both are under spiritual direction to priests, who have been given the Wisdom to assist them in the discernment process.
But, many contend that Jesus speaks prophetically, directly and succinctly as well, though he uses an intermediary as a scribe to communicate his words. In Ridgetown, in southern Ontario Canada, there is a person, under the spiritual direction of Father Sam Johnston, a retired priest of the Diocese of London Ontario, who regularly receives communications that she and Father Sam believe comes from the heart and mouth of Jesus.
But always, we must be aware that the public revelation of Jesus ended with His ministry on earth and the faithful are neither required to believe nor receive any alleged prophecy, no matter the source.
For a couple of years there were alleged prophecies coming forward at a now disappeared site called Locutions to the World. The words became more specific, promising certain things at certain dates. These did not materialize, and the bandwagon which had gathered such steam came to a grinding halt.
After LttW disappeared, Charlie Johnston gave readers an object lesson in what prophecy is and is not, which is a useful guide to discerning the veracity of what writers purport to come from the Lord, or His Blessed Mother. Here is a quote from that article:
But then I was given to know that it is not God’s will that we share in His secret plans; rather that we trust in Him. So prophecy is usually just a sort of spiritual landmark; a sign that we should look for the deeper spiritual significance behind certain temporal events. It is an invitation to watch and wait, to be still and know that He is God. Because we are blind but arrogant little moles it is, in fact, dangerous for us to know too many details. We think if we just had enough information, we could devise our own plan without the need to trust radically in Him. That thinking is what has gotten us to this pass. If any private revelation is to be of use, it must tamp down rather than ramp up this sort of thinking. Trust God. Live fidelity through your obedience to the Scriptural and Magisterial authority of His holy Church. Jesus, I trust in You. Mean it and He will navigate these turbulent waters for you. Try to take the wheel, yourself, and you will founder.I personally have taken the article to heart, and have discovered that the words coming from Ridgetown might fit the bill, for they guide us to trust Him, and to empty ourselves of things that prevent us from trusting in Him.
Here are the titles, first lines and links to a number of the recent prophecies from Ridgetown. You may discern for yourself if they are helpful to you on your journey of faith.
Dependence on God - February 4, 2016
"My people, you are not aware, or conscious of My great strength or power and ability to restore you to your former sanctity."
Living in the Present Moment - January 28, 2016
"Transformation of the heart is your life's mission, not of anyone else, for it is only one's own heart that you may change."
From Here to Eternity - January 20, 2016
"Baptism has made you a new creation, freedom has been given to you to be made whole."
Say to Me I Want Love - January 13, 2016
"Every moral decision that you make in the here and now, will have eternal consequences, that will determine where your eternity will be."
It's All About the Joy - January 7, 2016
"The true and infallible sign of My presence is Joy."
With Hearts on Fire - December 30, 2015
"What I desire is to set the world on fire with the Holy Spirit's love, burning in every heart."