Do/which Christians believe they hear from God?
Speaking in very general terms, most Christians denominations accept the possibility that God can speak to various individuals in one manner or another. It happens occasionally, here and there.
It is true that some seem not to be able to hear the voice of God. But then He may be speaking to us in a way we are not thinking of, as when we are read the Sacred Scriptures.
Not everyone can have one of those St. Augustine moments!
Augustine heard the voice, “as if ” he says, of a boy or girl chanting a repetitious refrain: “Pick it up and read, pick it up and read.” (Confessions 8,12,29). Obediently he hurries to the spot in the garden where Alypius was sitting. There he snatched the epistles of Saint Paul, opened the volume and read the first text that met his eyes. It was Romans 13: 13-14. “No reveling or drunkenness, no debauchery or vice, no quarrels or jealousies! Rather put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” This is a powerful message for any reader of the Bible. It gets right to the heart of Christian life. Why did it come to Augustine at this time? How did it affect him? Augustine shares this great moment of conversion with us in his Confessions:
I had no wish to read further, and no need. For in that instant with the very ending of the sentence, it was as though a light of utter confidence shone in all my heart and the darkness of uncertainty vanished. For you had converted me to yourself, so I would seek not ambition in this world
I have read of Baptist martyrs in Russia experiencing this phenomenon, without being able to explain the concept of hearing a voice they perceived as coming from God.
Interior locutions are a spiritual gift of hearing God’s voice interiorly for various individuals.
An interior locution is a mystical concept used by various religions. An interior locution is a form of private revelation, but is distinct from an apparition, or religious vision. An interior locution may be defined as "A supernatural communication to the ear, imagination, or directly to the intellect."
"Supernatural words are manifestations of God's thought which are heard either by the exterior senses or by the interior senses or immediately by the intellect."2 An example of the first is Gabriel's appearance to Zachary described in Luke 1:10-20. The latter two more properly fall under interior locutions. According to John of the Cross, "[t]hese are usually produced in a person's spirit without the use of the bodily senses as means...Formal locutions are certain distinct and formal words that the spirit receives, whether or not recollected, not from itself but from another." According to William Meninger O.C.S.O., the fifth vision of Julian of Norwich came in the form of an interior locution which she heard "clearly in her heart though not a word is spoken." (The term "vision" is here used to describe one in a series of religious experiences.)
Another way to describe locutions is as corporeal, imaginary, or spiritual or intellectual.
Corporeal locutions are those actually heard by the physical powers of hearing...Imaginary locutions are not heard in that way but the impression apprehended and received by the imaginative faculty is the same as though it had been ...In spiritual or intellectual locutions God imprints what he is about to say in the depths of the spirit: there is no sound or voice, or either corporeal or imaginative representation of such, but an expression of (certain) concepts in the depths of the spirit and in the faculty of understanding..."
It was an interior locution that reportedly led Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows to enter religious life. After a cholera epidemic that killed his sister had ended, Spoleto clergy and civic authorities organised a procession of the ancient icon of the Virgin Mary in Spoleto’s cathedral. Francis attended the procession and as the image passed by him, he felt an interior voice asking why he remained in the world. This event was the galvanising force behind the first serious steps in Francis’ religious vocation.
It is not always easy to determine whether the purported communication is actually from another source or the product of the person's own mind. An interior locution is distinguished from an interior monologue. Teresa of Ávila addresses this in El Castillo Interior (The Interior Castle), written in 1577. Spurious locutions can be recognized by their lack of coherence or clarity, and the disquiet they cause in the one who receives them.
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange explains: "Even in revelations approved as probable by the Church, some error may slip in; for the saints themselves may attribute to the Holy Ghost what proceeds from themselves, or may falsely interpret the meaning of a divine revelation, or interpret it in too materialistic a manner, as, for example, the disciples interpreted Christ's remark about St. John to mean that the latter would not die."(John 21:23) John of the Cross makes the same point in Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book 2, Chapter 19. While God's locutions are true and certain in themselves, "our manner of understanding them is defective,..."
Many Catholic canonized saints have been recognized as being able to hear the voice of God, such as St. Faustina. This phenomenon is not limited to those of the Catholic Church. God speaks in mysterious ways and to whom He desires!
How to Hear God's Voice
Throughout her Diary, St. Faustina records many instances in which the Lord Jesus came and spoke directly to her. But not everything she recorded the Lord saying came to her through an audible voice from without. Sometimes, she recorded what she discerned the Lord telling her in the silence of her heart.
Indeed, St. Faustina received an extraordinary grace by having the chance to converse with the Lord many times in person. Few in the history of the world can say the same. However, just because we likely won't hear the voice of the Lord in the same way she did does not mean that He's not speaking to us. Indeed, God wants each one of us to converse with Him in the silence of our hearts.
You might be thinking to yourself, "Not me. For whatever reason, the Lord never seems to speak to me like that."
But the Lord is the Word made Flesh. He's constantly speaking to us. And not just through Scripture, not just through his representatives, not just in daily events and situations, but in an actual voice, which Scripture describes as "a light silent sound" (1 Kg 19:12). So it's not that the Lord isn't speaking to us.