Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hearing God's Voice

Wednesday was an interesting day. The men's program I went to in the morning talked about hearing God's voice. Then I went to mass at noon and the reading was exactly the same as one of the passages they had focused on. That is the calling of Samuel as a boy. Where he hears God call repeatedly and mistakes it for Eli. 

What is kind of ironic is I took that as God's voice to think more about what it means to hear God's voice. I often put a fair bit of stock in coincidences. There is a school of that thought that there is no such thing as coincidence. It is always God putting things together to suggest something to us. I would not say always but this one seemed like that. 

In my reading I was struck by some stuff why God seems to hide. That God hides because He wants us to experience how lost we are without Him. If He was always undeniable present and scientifically provable then the idea of a godless life would never really occur to us. It would be like contemplating life without air. We don't normally do that because our need for air is obviously constant and undeniable. 

God wants us to choose Him. He does not want it to be a casual choice. He wants us to hunger for Him. He wants us to be desperate for Him. Yet He also wants us to be able to deny Him. He gives enough evidence to make the seeker believe but never enough to compel the sceptic to believe. 

The fits the data remarkable well. Whether you look at miracles or history or science you find the data always in that middle ground. No matter what angle you look at the question from nothing proves Catholicism and nothing disproves it. That in itself seems like strong evidence to me. That is that you would expect evidence for God if He existed. Yet you would also expect evidence against God to be strong if He didn't exist. At least you would expect the evidence against a developed form of theism like Catholicism to be clear if it was false. The fact that we are in the very unlikely middle ground and Catholicism has declared we will always be in that middle ground seems like a pretty good reason to take it seriously. 

Anyway, getting back to hearing God's voice. This idea of God remaining hidden means that God is not going to zap us in some undeniable way very often. He is going to work in more subtle ways. He is going to use other people. Often He will tickle something in your spirit when He really wants you to listen. It is good to listen to subtle things. CS Lewis says, "Pain is God's megaphone" so if you don't listen to whispers in your heart it is likely He will repeat the message in a more painful way. 

At the homily this morning the deacon made a good point. He said if you say you don't know God's will for your life that is pretty lame. You are supposed to be making a huge effort. You don't need a roadmap for your whole life. You just need a reasonable next step. Is it really that hard? Often we let a lack of certainty paralyse us. Are we playing that game? God has to zap me or I will just continue doing my thing? Isn't that the same game the atheists play? We need to stop. If we really think about it we are not completely in the dark. Do the best you can with the light you have.

God's will does not have to be huge. Today's gospel was the wedding feast at Cana. All Mary did was bring the problem to Jesus. Then she encouraged the servants to do whatever Jesus said. A little intercession and a little exhortation to obey can go a long way. It led to a great miracle of joy. It turned a wedding disaster into the most amazing wedding ever. A wedding that points to the ultimate wedding of Christ and His church. That is what all marriages are supposed to do. 


  1. Here in Beijing I too am struck with the way God brings people, messages and circumstances together in my life - from the Christians who operate a language school across the hall, to the Believer on the subway - He is here and He is near to me! And His will is for me to be kind.

    1. Thanks for reading Marcia. It is awesome when you do hear God's voice and you know it. God bless you!