whispering within my soul

I cannot recall the first time I heard God’s voice, just as no one ever remembers the moment of their birth. At birth, the cognitive abilities that will increase as we age are primitive, sufficient only to support life. Yet, within moments, we are capable of reacting to external stimuli; we recognize a loving embrace, we hear a soothing voice and we smile. Instinctively we know love even though we have no true understanding of its meaning. Comprehension and understanding are beyond the newness of our minds, beyond our capacity to know. It is a mystery, a truth so big it cannot be exhausted in the knowing.

Unlike God, we are temporal creatures, limited by space and time, with human weaknesses and limitations. Our eyes are limited to seeing only visible light, a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum; for there is far more that we cannot see than what we do see. Our ears are capable of hearing sound between 20-20,000 Hz although generally we hear a much smaller range (1000-5000 Hz.) Sounds beyond 20,000 Hz exist, we just cannot hear them.

What all this means is that if we are to hear God’s voice we must overcome or set aside our innate human limitations and tune ourselves to His frequency and His light. When we were born we felt loved without understanding. We did not try to analyze or intellectualize what we felt because we had no means to do so, just as we had neither the desire nor compulsion to go beyond the sense of well-being and nurturing love that surrounded us. We just felt loved and it was a good feeling.

So it is with God. In our humanity, our physical bodies, we cannot hear or see God but through our spirituality, our souls, we can reach out and hear His voice.

While I cannot recall when God first began to speak to me, nor the second, third, or nth occasion, I can remember when I first became receptive to listening to what He had to say. And in retrospect I have firm memories of moments when I chose to follow a certain path simply because I ‘heard’ His voice whispering within my soul.

Not too long ago I was asked to develop a timeline of my life. Wide latitude was given to its form. It could be a simple line marked with tics or dots to denote important events or it could be a meandering line, full of curves and course corrections. What came to mind for me was a room filled with an endless number of colored balls, each touching a myriad of other balls. I saw my life as a journey through that room, neither straight nor level, coming in contact with so many, every touch influencing my choices and each having an impact on the path I would ultimately follow. At times, the going was easy, like when I saw myself swimming above the sea of balls. When I sank below the surface, the way was slow and tedious.

God speaks to us in those moments when we need a gentle nudge, a soft caress, a tender touch. He speaks in our imagination, through circumstances, by others, and sometimes He speaks within our soul. When He does it is usually best to shut up and listen.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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