This picture doesn’t have much to do with the topic – I just think my daughters and I look nice together.

Simply put, a Sacred Story is your story about the time that you uniquely entered into sacred space, and the impact that that event had on your life. I don’t know if everyone has one, but if you ask many people about the time they knew God was real and that He had a personal interest, you’ll most likely hear something very interesting from them. It might be a story about time they or someone close to them almost died but was spared by God’s grace; The story about how they had cancer and was miraculously cured; The time they were deep in prayer and truly felt God was there; An story about a personal encounter with the Virgin Mary or some other saint; About that time they were really going through something, and all of a sudden felt a peace that surpasses all understanding.
Sacred Scripture informs us that there are only three things we ought to do when we have a sacred encounter with God; those being, (1) Discern it; (2) Share it for the rest of your life; and (3) Revisit it often to measure and correct your path. Concerning the former, as I wrote in the Cooperating with God: Life with the Cross, “Cooperating with God is impossible for those who fail to prayerfully discern His will. It would be easier for a person who does not have hands to eat finger food than it would be for a person who does not search for the will of God to Cooperate with Him.” The are few better ways to know what God has called you to do in this life by than discerning His will through your sacred encounter(s) with Him. Saint Maria Faustina’s diary, ‘Divine Mercy in my Soul’, is a great example of the work of discerning and sharing sacred encounters with Jesus Christ.
Atheists and Agnostics are generally correct in saying that we can’t prove verifiable through the senses that God does exist and that He loves us unconditionally; meaning that we cannot necessarily point to God for someone to perceive with their eyes or ears, or give them God to taste, touch, or smell, unless they already believe that what we are pointing to or handing them is actually God. In fact, it’s generally a good thing that God can’t always be perceived in that way, being that we have seem to have a human tendency to want to devalue everything thing that we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.
God wants to be our real experience in this life and in the next. If you don’t believe that then you haven’t read the Bible. The great irony of sacred Scripture is that it is full of stories about people who actually put the Torah down and took the time to experience life with God. The Bible is fully of stories about people who learned more about God by failing and getting back up with His help, than by reading about Him. The Bible is a book of real people who took the time to share their sacred story so that future generations could test them through their own sacred stories. In the Catholic Church we also have the lives of the saints to help us discern our sacred story through.
When you first have a sacred encounter, you should follow the example of the Virgin Mary and let it rest in your heart and reflect upon it for some time (Cf. Lk. 2:19). You should spend time and prayer and let God massage the marriage between your faith and intellect concerning the experience. Write your sacred story down and meditate upon it. While you are doing all of those things you should also test your sacred encounter against the sacred encounters of others – most especially from trusted sources found in the Bible and canonized Catholic saints. What will happen when you test it is that you will either discover that your story sounds very similar to how God has authentically worked in lives of others, or that it does not sound like how God has worked in the lives of others.
After you have discerned the authenticity of your story you can now go to the next step – Share It. Start off slowly with trusted family and friends from your faith tradition, and your pastor as well. Be faithful to the sensus fidelium (Latin for: the sense of the faithful) in this regard. For if your sacred story is true then it should resonate with the faithful as being true. If your story is resonating with your hearers then continue to share, share, and share as the Holy Spirit leads you to.
The final thing to do with a Sacred Story is Revisit it Often. This life is full of distractions, and it is so easy to get off track and begin doing things other than what we have been called to do, where we have been called to do it, and how we have been called to do it. Sacred encounters have the unique affect of helping us to get back on track. They remind about how good God has been to us, how far we have come, and the narrow path that we need to be on to get where we need to be.
Of course I’ve written books and started a blog to share my sacred stories, but the best affect I’ve had in telling my stories was with one on one encounters with family and friends who were in a similar places as me. Therefore, I encourage you to discover, discern, embrace, share, and revisit often your own Sacred Story. The world needs to hear it!