Shhh….can you hear something?
10 January 2018
Everyone has had the experience of hearing a mobile phone going off during mass. Probably, like me, you dread being that person.
I remember one time, in particular, being at a packed mass. I carefully put my phone on silent. I checked it. Twice. At the great silence in the mass, it rang. Loudly. I quickly tried to put it on silent, but to my amazement and confusion, the phone commands were in another language! Frantically I tried to pull out the phone battery…Everybody was staring.
It turned out that one of my children had ‘borrowed’ my phone and had (I still don’t know how) reprogrammed ‘silent’ to ‘loud’ switching the phone language to Tagalog. Eventually, I saw the funny side of it.
If you’ve never been a Sacred Space Invader, you probably have (like me) forgotten to turn your phone on again later. Eventually, some perplexed family member, employer, etc., has tracked you down.
In our spiritual life, we can be living with our spiritual senses turned off. God sometimes has to take drastic measures to get our attention. As C.S Lewis points out: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” It is preferable therefore to be listening for the whispers.
Samuel had his senses attuned to God’s voice. He was also prepared to act even at the risk of embarrassment or annoyance. God still speaks. I suspect that most of us have experience with the Lord speaking to us. The communication may have been of apparent significance, or perhaps it seemed odd, trivial. The writings of great spiritual masters of the Church can guide us in discerning whether what we are hearing is from God. However, it all starts with us choosing to have our spiritual senses on.
O give me Samuel’s ear…O Lord
Alive and quick to hear
Each whisper of your Word,
Like him to answer to Your call,
And to obey You first of all.
God speaks to us in a variety of ways – He speaks to us through His word, other people, the Holy Spirit, and circumstances. The key question is, “Am I listening?”