we seldom listen

In the beginning God created man and woman and since they were all alone God kept company with them and spoke with them directly and often. After all, they had been created by Him in His image and they had many questions to ask of their creator. There was no television, radio, iPods, cellphones, or computers to occupy their time or overload their senses. The quiet solitude of the garden provided the perfect setting for having casual and intimate conversations with their creator; nothing to interrupt or distract them from their close relationship with God.

God is present everywhere and every time; He is integral and inseparable to all that is, was and ever shall be. To hear God’s voice all we have to do is listen. But be aware that God never raises His voice, He never shouts; He speaks softly and you must listen with a quiescent mind and an attentive ear to hear His voice.

When God created man and woman He gave each a voice. When they were only two they could easily speak and be heard by one another. But as humanity grew, so did the voices. And unlike God, we all too often raise our voices, shouting over one another to be heard. God’s voice has been lost in the cacophony that we produce; the din has become so deafening that we can seldom hear ourselves think, let alone hear God.

In ancient times, the noise was far less than it is today. Throughout the Old Testament we read of God speaking to those who remained steadfast in their faith and belief in Him. Often God spoke through messengers because the increasing clamor and noise drowned out or suppressed the hearing of His Word. His messengers often had to shout to be heard and were ignored or punished for speaking in His name.

God speaks to us as much today as He did in the beginning. He has never turned His back on us nor has He left us alone. Each of us, at some moment in our life, has voiced the complaint that God has failed to respond to our prayers. We pray and beseech Him to relieve our suffering, cure our ills, wash away our sins, and forgive us for all our transgressions, and for all our prayers we hear nothing in return, we feel abandoned and ignored by God.

Our failure to hear God’s response is not the result of Him ignoring our plea but a failure on our part to listen in the quiet stillness of His presence. God never shouts. If we refuse to cancel out the noise that surrounds us then we will never hear His response.

Remove the distractions, turn off the technology, turn down the blinding, glaring lights, and enter into the serenity of the garden, created in the beginning, where no one else resides, where you can be alone with your God.

Listen in silence;
listen in solitude;
listen in serenity.

Listen, really listen,
and you will hear
the voice of God.

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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