The Gospel from today’s Mass (Jn 10:1-10) reminds us of the importance of listening to the voice of Jesus, but what if we can’t hear His voice? Unfortunately, there are many competing voices speaking to us on a daily basis. The voices of comfort, fear, greed, and the media are often heard loudest in our ears and drown out the voice of the Lord. If we can’t even hear Jesus speaking to us, how can we obey Him? As my friend Matt Swaim states in his book, Prayer In The Digital Age (Ligouri Publications, 2011), “Silence is the great fear of the modern age.”
Obviously, we first need to focus on hearing the voice of the Lord. According to St. Ignatius of Loyola, “It is true that the voice of God, having once penetrated the heart, becomes strong as the tempest and loud as the thunder. But before reaching the heart it is as weak as a light breath that scarcely agitates the air. It shrinks from noise and is silent amid agitation.” To put it simply, if we don’t make an effort to listen, we’re not going to hear the Lord’s voice.
Daily prayer and meditating on the Bible are critical to being able to hear the Lord’s voice. Unfortunately, and I know that it’s difficult, but sometimes you have to turn off the tv! While there’s nothing inherently wrong with watching tv, listening to the radio or surfing the Internet, we need to make some quiet time for the Lord each day. Otherwise, we’ll never hear Him speak.
Once we begin to hear His voice, the next thing we have to do is obey His instructions. Although it sounds simple, this is often difficult especially when He tells us to stop doing things that we enjoy. Unfortunately, many of our sinful habits are also a lot of fun! However, as Catholics, we are blessed to have a body of clear Church teaching that guides us and keeps us on the right path. In an attempt to determine God’s will for their lives, many people erroneously ignore the teaching of the Church. That, my friends, is a mistake that could lead to disaster!
Although it may be difficult at first, making some “quiet time” for the Lord will gradually get easier. You’ll even find yourself looking forward to the time you get to spend each day with your good friend, Jesus. You’ll also begin to feel a sense of peace that comes from following God’s will.
Give it a try and see what happens…
I spoke about this topic on today’s edition of Following The Truth. You can listen to the podcast here: