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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Speak Lord...

Sunday's reading from 1Samuel is the beautiful story of the prophet being called out of sleep, into service for the Lord. Having been dedicatd to God by his mother, Hannah, before his birth, this account relates the dramatic recognition of Samuel, with the help of the priest, Eli, that his time has arrived. In the Hebrew Scripture, I have found three powerful "epiphanies", if you will, that illuminate God's revelation to individual's that can help us discern our own unique calling.

The first is the story of Jacob's dream on his journey to Haran in Genesis 28. After he awoke from his sleep, Jacob exclaimed, "Truly,...the Lord is in this place and I knew it not!"(v.16) Jacob vowed that if God remained, protected and sustained him, then the Lord would be his God. His realization that that the Lord was with him, "in this place", must be ours, too. God is not only found in the church, the temple, mosque or synagogue. God is in all places, at all times. It is impossible for us to be without Him. He envelops and embraces all things, and all creation is a manifestation of His love for us. And because He is everywhere, it is possible for us to be in a constant relationship with Him. And we should be open to a communion of the heart with the One who loves us, and is always with us.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, writing about the importance of silence, said that Our Lord had spoken to St. Theresa of Avila, saying, "I would willingly speak to many souls, but the world makes so much noise in their hearts that My voice cannot be heard." The prophet Samuel was asleep when God spoke to him.(1Samuel 3) But Samuel was unfamiliar with the Lord's voice, so he needed Eli to help him discern.

Since the Lord found St. Theresa's 16th century world noisy, imagine what He thinks of the clamorous, constant self-inflicted "jibber-jabber" of 21st century America? How is He heard amidst the clatter? God speaks to us through our friends, our family and even those who hate us. He speaks to us in events, through our joys as well as our personal tragedies. In all our relationships, and in the people who drift into and out of our lives, God's voice may be heard. Eli was present for Samuel. We may also need an "Eli" to help us decide among the din, whose voice is the Lord's. Or, we may be an "Eli" for others, through listening, talking, praying or simply being present. But we must realize that God is calling, and like Samuel, we need to listen.

In Isaiah 6:8, he says,"Then I heard the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said, "send me!" Once we acknowledge God's Presence, and that He speaks to us, we have a choice to make: Do we give ourselves to Him, or, do we "harden our hearts" and reject His call?

Concerning our response, Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote, "All our good acts are acts of consent to the indications of His mercy and the movements of His grace...which seeks nothing to respond, by goodness, to Goodness, and by love, to Love. Let us not only exist, but obey in our existence. For the full fruitfulness of spiritual life begins in gratitude for life, in the consent to live, and the greater gratitude that seeks to be dissolved and to be with Christ."

So, we begin with gratitude, with giving thanks in all things. Isaiah knew that he was not his own, he was the Lord's. And in thanksgiving, gave himself back to his Creator. Every moment of our life is grace. And when we recognize, not by hearsay but by experience, that in His love, God has given us everything, including His Son, then there can only be one response to God's summons: "Here I am, Lord! Send me!"

1 comment:

  1. Amen Bob, a nice reflection to help us prepare for what the Lord has in mind for us every day! Thank you for responding to His grace and we are all blessed as well!


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