Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Discernment is important for anyone who becomes intentional about learning to hear the voice of God. When the divine voice of the Spirit is heard, it is not usually heralded by a loud drum roll, but heard in the midst of deep silence. The silence is created as we begin to peel away all the sounds we have grown accustomed to hearing and allow ourselves to enter into a place not often frequented. To think of entering such space makes us uncomfortable because what makes us comfortable is the noise. Most of us do not cultivate the silence. We run from it.
The voices which compete for our quiet still moments may not be a voice at all. It may be something which we hold in our hand that we have allowed to control the way we spend our waking moments. There is, perhaps, no bigger distraction in our life these days than that miniature screen which connects us to whatever it is that seems to be more important than being where we are in the present moment. Even when we are not scrolling and looking, we are wondering what we are missing. Have we not become the picture of ridiculous?
The contemplative would teach us about centering prayer, but then we must have a mind and heart that wants to learn in order to listen to their lessons. Centering prayer is about emptying the consciousness so that there is space for the Spirit to be present and to speak. It often involves acknowledging the distractions and the competing voices so that we can see and hear them for what they are. We may not really be ready for this kind of moment with God. We may not believe it is possible to hear so we close our ears. Or, we may not be willing to put aside the trivial in order to experience the extraordinary. Unfortunately, we do not always make the best choices. But, we can change. Surely, this is one of the messages of these Lenten days.