Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Voice of God

1. God speaks to us in many ways by means of created things. We see his glory in the stars of the firmament, (Cf. Ps. 13:2) in the seas, mountains and valleys, and in the trees and flowers. St. Therese was once examining the petals of a flower when she exclaimed: "How good thou art,O God!"

God also speaks within us. Sometimes He sees how absorbed we are in worldly affairs and He stirs up in us a restlessness and a longing for Heaven. When we fall into sin, He pricks us with remorse and appeals to us to rise again, making us realise that everything else is empty and futile if we have lost Him. He speaks to us still more clearly by means of Revelation, which is contained in Sacred Scripture as officially interpreted by the Church.

The revealed Word of God has always been with us to answer the searchings of the human heart and to allay its anxieties. The Gospel is as new and as illuminating today as yesterday. It is a book which we should study reverently and diligently in order to solve our personal problems and the problems of mankind.

Let us listen to God when He speaks to us in these diverse ways. Let us respond to His appeals and carry out whatever He requires of us in our daily lives.

2. God also speaks to us through His Saints.

The Saints are men in whom God dwells in such a special way that their entire personalities reflect Him. They live the Gospel perfectly. They have renounced themselves in order to belong completely to God. Not only have they overcome their evil inclinations, but they have conquered themselves in the process of that Christian annihilation which sublimates human nature rather than destroys it. They have enthroned God in the place of their own will and of their own ego, so that like St. Paul they can claim: "It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me."

God still speaks to us through His Saints, for even in this troubled and mechanical age there are pure and humble souls dedicated to God and the service of their fellow-men. Whenever we encounter one of these privileged beings, whether in the pages of a book or in our actual surroundings, let us pay attention to him and do our best to imitate his virtues.

3. It will go hard with the man who refuses to listen to God. He has reason to be afraid when he lets God's inspirations and graces pass him by. Anyone who is deaf to God's appeals cannot be saved.

God spoke many times in the heart of His apostle Judas, but he did not listen. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss, Jesus spoke to him and called him His friend, giving him the kiss of peace and forgive­ness. But the traitor spurned this last appeal and went his way. May this never be our fate. Be not silent, let us plead. Lord, be not far from me! (Ps. 34:22) Above all, let us listen obediently to His voice from whatever source it comes, and let us do what He advises us.