Listening to God
Each day when we reflect on the readings of the day it is a prayerful way of listening to the word of God. Good prayer should be very sensitive to the Holy Scriptures as it is the revealed word of God to us. When we prayerfully study the Bible we are asking God to speak to us.
People in the Scriptures were terrified by the silence of God. "For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit." (Ps 28:1)
The silence of God is death to prayer. For in the Bible when God stops talking even nature sinks back into the chaos of early Genesis. God’s word creates light and goodness and when he ceases to speak all becomes darkness and waste. Praise to his love for us He constantly communicates to us his deepest thoughts in the Scriptures.
The secret of good prayer is to be a good listener. It is nearly incredible the amount of emphasis that God places on listening! "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." (1 Sam 3:9) The Scriptures treat listening some 4,824 times. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (Jn
10:27) The word "know" indicates a deep intimacy with Jesus. Deep friendship with Christ emerges from paying attention to his word.
The closest we can get with persons is communication. It is when I take what is deep in my mind and heart and give it to the mind and heart of another. When we open our inner selves by listening to what lies deep in the mind and heart of God expressed in his word, we approach an intense intimacy with God! It is no wonder that God intervenes on the mountain: "This is my beloved
Son, listen to Him." (Mt 17:5)
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.