Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened. (Genesis 1:6)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5)
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)
I will never forsake you or abandon you. (Hebrews 13:5)
The previous article spoke of Lent as a time to “open wide our hearts to Christ.” But how can we do this when life can be so chaotic at times. So many issues compete for our time and attention that we can risk losing sight of the Lord and his presence, even during this grace-filled season. Whenever we feel ourselves getting caught up in the busyness of our lives, it’s a good idea to get back to the basics—and to do that by going back to the beginning! We can recall how, at the very start of creation (see Genesis 1), God spoke order into chaos, light into darkness. We can recall how by simply speaking a word, he brought into existence the very thing that he spoke.
This may sound terribly theological and theoretical, but it is far more practical than that! For God never changes. He is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is still speaking words to us. He is still bringing new life into being—in our very hearts! For instance, in Confession, when we hear the priest say: “I absolve you of all your sins,” our sins really have been forgiven! Likewise at Mass, when we hear: “This is my body, which will be given up for you,” Jesus really does become present in a new and powerful way.
How can we hear God’s voice? By listening! Our heavenly Father exhorted us to listen to his beloved Son (Matthew 17:5). Jesus, our shepherd, said that his sheep “listen to my voice” (John 10:27). Buy yourself a notebook or a prayer journal, and every time you think God is speaking to you—through a prayer at Mass, as you read the Scriptures, as you ponder a beautiful sunset— write down what you think he is saying. These little notes can help show you how much God is at work. They can also give you greater confidence in his ability to bring forth the very words he is speaking.
When your life starts to feel chaotic, go back to your journal and recall a time when you felt particularly close to God. Let that memory spur you to listen for him again. Maybe he gave you a sense that he would “never forsake you or abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5). Maybe he lightened an emotional burden you were carrying or comforted you after the loss of a loved one. Let these times encourage you to quiet your heart and listen again.
Never doubt that God wants to speak to you – not only during this Lenten season but all the time. He loves to speak peace into our lives. So stop and listen today. Stop and listen every day. He who spoke everything into existence has a word for you!
“Lord, open my ears! I want to hear your voice. I want to listen to your words. I believe that your words can touch and transform me.”
Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing me to adapt meditations in their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.
[Maurice Blumberg is the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a ministry of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.]
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
1. Take some time to meditate and reflect on the Scriptures at the beginning of the article. What do you think God is trying to reveal to you through them?
2. In the article, we hear these words: “For God never changes. He is the ‘same yesterday, today, and forever’” (Hebrews 13:8). He is still speaking words to us. He is still bringing new life into being—in our very hearts!” Do you believe that God desires to bring new life into your heart through his words to you? Why or why not?
3. Share a time when you felt God was speaking a word to you. What impact did it have on your life?
4. During this Lent, write down in a notebook or a prayer journal any words you believe God is speaking to you. At the end of Lent, share these words with a family member or a friend, and how they affected you.
5. The article ends with these words: “Never doubt that God wants to speak to you – not only during this Lenten season but all the time. He loves to speak peace into our lives. So stop and listen today. Stop and listen every day. He who spoke everything into existence has a word for you!” Are you willing to spend some time every day in prayer to hear “a word for you”?
6. Take some time to pray now for the grace to hear the Lord speaking to you in prayer, in the Sacraments, and in the circumstances of your life, especially during this Lenten season. Use the prayer at the end of the article as a starting point.