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God Speaks: Are You Listening?

April 20, 2015

God Speaks

God would like to talk with you. How often are we guilty of sending vocal prayers upward, without listening for a response? Yet, we expect God to hear our prayers and do something about them.  Did it ever dawn on you that perhaps, just perhaps, the solution, the response needed to your prayer, might come in the form of listening to God speak? How does God speak to us, you ask?

If you are like me, your mind is constantly analyzing, assessing, deciding, working every moment of every day. I can’t seem to sit down and just be quiet – silent – yet I must, if I am to discern God’s will for me.  With difficulty, I make every attempt at being silent and listening to God, especially every Wednesday afternoon when I sit in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Yet, I always seem to have a lot to say to God, and I am guilty of not letting Him get a word in edgewise when I pray. I pour my heart out to Him in prayer, and I try to listen to God speak to my heart, but He doesn’t get much of a chance with me jabbering away.

Silence is a virtue. It is important for us to listen to God; to give Him our time by simply listening. He speaks to us in several different ways. Perhaps it is through a passage from Scripture. Perhaps it is through the voice of a loved one. Perhaps He speaks directly to your heart in prayer, giving you His peace. Perhaps it is via a whisper as you sit silently in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.

Into this most intimate relation – God and I – we do not come by speaking, but only by silence; when we are recollected, our inmost soul is opened and the sacred presence can manifest itself. – Fr. Romano Guardini

I am reassured by Father Guardini who affirms that silence must be learned; that a person must practice silence just like any other acquired virtue. That means that there is hope for me! I so want the Sacred Presence manifesting itself to me. I want to listen! I want to be silent! How else will my heart hear His will for me?

Why should we listen to God? We’ll answer that question in our next reflection. Don’t miss it!

This post also appears on www.catholicbloggersnetwork.com and www.topcatholicblogs.com.

6 Responses to God Speaks: Are You Listening?

  • Open Heart Open Mind by Thomas Keating is a good resource.

    • I have that book! I’ve read the first half. Have you found it fruitful using his method? If so, how long have you been at it? And perhaps you might like to share with everyone how Keating’s contemplative means of prayer works?

  • Well, basically it is sometimes called centering prayer. So, a person would choose a very short, one or a very few word prayer, like: “Jesus” “Mary” , or maybe the Jesus prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.” Then in a very relaxed way, when one is praying, one is simply “being with God”. So, it is somewhat like sitting by the river of your thoughts and feelings and watching them easily flow by without reaching in and touching them or holding them. Then when you find that you are touching and holding them, which you will, simply return to your short prayer like “Jesus” and let go of whatever you were touching or holding on to in your mind. With practice the short prayer simply becomes a presence in you and then that presence deepens in you and you grow into a more intimate relationship with that presence in you. I believe that presence is the Holy Spirit. I hope that was slightly helpful. If you have questions simply let me know.

  • How do you know that the voice you hear in your “heart” (which in reality is your brain) is either God or Satan? Isn’t it entirely possible that both the “good” and the “bad” voices that you hear are simply YOU talking to yourself? Human beings have internal conversations with themselves all day long:

    “Wow. I am such an idiot. That was really a dumb thing to do.”

    or

    “Wow. I sure did a good job today. My productivity is the best in the office. I hope the boss notices.”

    Aren’t we doing a real disservice to our children by teaching them to listen for unidentified voices in their heads to guide them in life instead of developing their own ability to make good, sound decisions?

    • Hi Gary: You ask some excellent questions! The dilemma that you speak of, is something we all struggle with from time to time. “Is this what God really wants of me?” “How am I to truly know?”

      Your questions touch at the heart of what I spend my life studying: the virtues. May I suggest reading the following articles grouped by category on this website, in the following order: Counsel, Prudence, Discernment

      We need to seek the error-free Counsel of the Holy Spirit when making important decisions. We then need to use our intellect and will and apply prudence to the decision-making process. We need to ask ourselves, is both the means and the end both morally correct? We then need to discern the path we should take. After all of this is done, if we have a sense of inner peace with our decision, we can attribute that peace to being a grace from God, and that we are acting in accordance with His plan.

      If I could have your permission, I would like to take your questions and give them a fuller response is a full post later this month. I ask because I think others would benefit from hearing the answers to your questions, and rather than having them buried in a comment to a post, we could address them in a post of their own. Please let me know if I can use your questions and whether or not you would want your name attached within the body of the post.

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