Let’s learn to listen to God’s voice

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

This is definitely a necessity for us. We have to learn to listen to the voice of God who actually intervenes in our life all the time, prompting us about what to think, desire, speak and do. And that’s simply because our life is supposed to be a life with God. We, as God’s image and likeness, are meant to share God’s life and nature, without erasing the distinction between God as Creator and us as creatures.

We need to realize that failing to listen to God’s voice in an abiding way undermines our humanity, and there’s no other way for us to go than to fall into some anomaly. About this truth we are reminded in the readings of the Mass for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent. (cfr. Jer 7,28-28 / Ps 95,1-2.6-7.8-9 / Lk 11,14-23)

In the first reading, we are told of how God begged the people to listen to him. “This thing I commanded them, saying: Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk ye in all the way that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.”

But they refused, and so the inevitable happened. “They hearkened not, nor inclined their ear: but walked in their own will, and in the perversity of their wicked heart: and went backward and not forward…”

The responsorial psalm presents to us God’s appeal to all of us, to which we should try our best to correspond the best way we can. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

The gospel spells to us in no uncertain terms what would happen to us if we are not with the Lord. “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathers not with me, scatters.” That’s simply the way the cookie crumbles.

We really need to learn how to listen to God’s voice, discerning his will and ways in an abiding way. In this we should not be sparing in our effort to pursue it. Definitely, it will require of us a lot of discipline, given the way we are, dominated as we are most of the time merely by what we can get through our senses, emotions and our very limited capacity to know and understand things.

We have to feel more and more at home with the truth that we are meant to be real contemplatives even as we immerse ourselves in our earthly and temporal affairs. It should encourage to pursue this effort when we realize more deeply that we are meant to share not only the knowledge of God but also, and more importantly, the very power of God as shown to us by Christ who was willing to bear everything just to save us.

We have to learn to be both active and contemplative in our life. Active in the sense that we immerse ourselves as deeply as possible in the dynamic of earthly and temporal affairs, while also contemplative in the sense that in all these affairs, we see God, we are driven by love for God and everybody else, we get to know, love and serve him and everybody else.

It’s an ideal that definitely is not easy to achieve. But we have our whole life to develop it, and we actually are also given all the means to attain it. It just depends on us as to whether we want to have that ideal or not. We are actually wired and equipped for that ideal, since that’s how God created us.

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