Memorial of St. Anthony
It is challenging in our world today to take time and just be quiet.
With many things fighting for our attention, it can be difficult to manage our time properly. How do we listen for God’s voice amidst the noise of life?
"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts." Psalm 95
We never know in which way God will speak to us. Today I had a very busy day at the office and my director comes in with a serious disposition, sits down and says "Do you know that God loves you?" Out of the blue! I thought he was going to tell me something distressing. At first I was annoyed, but a couple of seconds later I just smiled. God reached out to me through him to remind me that no matter how much I accomplish during my busyness, God loves me. He can choose to speak to us through something as small as the whisper of the Spirit or magnificent as a burning bush. We have to ready ourselves and have open hearts to receive His word; to grow into a more intimate relationship with Him.
Making time for prayer and meditation in our lives gives us the opportunity to improve the lines of communication with God. The more often we come to him, placing our lives in His hands, the more receptive we are to his voice. An openness of heart leads us to listening and becoming what Christ wills of us. St. Athanasius tells us that St. Anthony the Abbot was known for his reverence toward God. In this detailed biography, he goes on that after hearing the word of God in church, St. Anthony went and gave away his possessions and became a hermit. It was in the desert that St. Anthony felt he could truly connect with God. I urge you to take a weekend or a day to follow St. Anthony’s example and turn off the noise. Go to a retreat, spend an afternoon in adoration, take time to read a book on spirituality. In whichever way you choose to spend this time, meditate on Psalm 95.
Some days it takes shutting the noise out completely to reset our spiritual connection. Most days though, it is opening our hearts to recognizing God’s presence so that we are not closed off when He does speak to us.
Kim Valdez is a Pastoral Associate at Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center in Houston, Texas