“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” Many a Catholic identifies this as a refrain to a familiar psalm.
But what is God’s voice? We can’t exactly hear it!
Maybe the reason we can’t hear it is because we’re not listening to it. But we’re not the only ones. There’s a famous passage about Elijah trying to find God in 1 Kings 19: 11-12
‘Then the Lord said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12after the earthquake, fire—but the Lord was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.’
The last four words in this verse are more well known as “a still small voice.”
Mother Teresa said that “In the silence of our hearts, God speaks.”
Holy Week is a period that consists of more silence than celebration after Palm Sunday. The readings are more solemn and many people spend time meditating on Jesus’s passion and death.
But how can we distinguish God’s voice from other voices, even in the silence of our hearts?
It starts by knowing what God would say. 9 times out of 10, what God wants is pretty much the opposite of what the world says would make us happy. And Satan, Father of Lies that he is, tries to make us think that he is God’s voice by offering us everything we think we want on a silver platter.
Tucker Max, famous for being the epitome of frat boy dreams everywhere, says “The devil doesn’t come dressed in a red cape and pointy horns. He comes as everything you’ve ever wished for.”
While God wants to give us what makes us happy, a lot of the time, what God wants to give us is not something we expect. It’s often the last thing we expect. Think of all the Bible stories you know. It usually starts with a reluctant hero who at first thinks he can’t, but decides to do God’s will anyway. Okay, that’s also part of the Hero’s Journey, but you get my point. There’s a reason why people always say “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
Today, I want you to spend time in silent meditation and I pray that you hear God’s voice during this Lenten season.