Local radio host gathered stories from fellow Catholics about the ‘God-cidents’ in their own lives, especially during a tumultous 2020

ANN ARBOR — For many, 2020 was a year of reckoning. For some, it led to an opportunity to dig deeper into their faith and listen more closely to what God had to say. 

Local Catholic radio host and author of more than a dozen books, Teresa Tomeo has taken notes for years of “Godwinks” in her own life — instances of God speaking to her in different ways, whether through another person, Scriptures or during Mass. After hearing similar stories from others, particularly over the course of 2020, she set about writing her second book of the year: “Listening For God: Discovering The Incredible Ways God Speaks To Us” (Sophia Institute Press). 

The book includes stories of various “God-cidents” from Catholics, many of whom reside in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Tomeo even published some of her own personal stories, such as the death of her mother in early 2020 and others related to her reversion to the Catholic Church. 

Tomeo believes the book will be an encouragement during difficult times. But she wanted to go beyond her own experiences. 

“(The book) includes a variety of people, and I wanted it to be that way because God speaks to us each very differently, depending on our interests, our talents, our gifts and our likes and dislikes. The stories (in the book) are so unique for each person,” Tomeo said.

The book includes testimonies from people such as John Hale, president of the Michigan-based Corporate Travel Service, who relays praying about the direction God wanted him to go after the travel industry was hit hard by the pandemic. 

Tomeo also includes a testimony from a Detroit pro-life leader Kathleen Crombie, who, after the loss of her husband, had God’s word put on her heart, which helped her to face what was ahead.

Each of the book’s chapters examine the different ways God speaks to people. For example, Tomeo said, the opening chapter is titled, “Seeking God through the sounds of silence.” Later chapters include angels, the Eucharist, and instances of God speaking during Mass.

Tomeo had her contributors write reflection questions for each chapter, and the book includes a comprehensive resource section at the end, making the book ideal for a Zoom group study, she said. 

Since the book’s release in November, numerous others have reached out to Tomeo with their own stories. With this trove of “God-cidents,” Tomeo is discerning writing a sequel in 2021. 

“We live in a fallen world, so we are always going to have suffering. But God is always speaking to us. If we are open to it, we can realize that we don’t need to be controlled by our circumstances,” Tomeo said. “Many people feel like they have no control anymore because of what has been happening in our world for the last 10-12 months. This is to remind people that God is with us every single day in every circumstance, and we have to look at the big picture, not just the immediate situation.”

One of the keys to hearing God speak is having a regular prayer life, Tomeo said, and to know that God will never ask a person to go against Church teaching. 

“God is never going to say, ‘Oh, it’s OK, you can go do whatever you want,’” Tomeo said. “So I think it is very important to understand that God’s will is always going to be the best for us, and it will never go against Church teaching or cause us to sin.”

Ordering the book 

Listening For God: Discovering The Incredible Ways God Speaks To Us, by Teresa Tomeo is available from Sophia Institute Press. At the time of publication, buyers can receive 25 percent off with the purchase of two or more copies.