One of my favorite Psalm verses was used several weeks ago as the Responsorial Psalm at Sunday’s Mass: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.”
I was delighted because we sing the response on Sunday and that response has the sort of haunting melody that tends to echo in my heart and mind during the day. For me, that echo is an invitation to remember and heed–and hearing God’s voice is an entry to prayer.
There are so many competing voices that call out to us that we can miss the still, quiet voice that begs for our attention. Perhaps the most difficult thing is noticing when and where we hear God’s voice. We are all so different! Moses heard God speaking to him in the midst of flame and thunder while Elijah knew God’s voice in the gentle breeze.
Each of us has our own way of encountering God and it is there, in that special place, that God meets and speaks with us. Some will find God through music or in reading, others in stillness (as did Elijah), still others while experiencing the beauty that surrounds us.
In whatever way God’s invitation comes to us, it is a way for us to explore, cherish and respond. This is the heart of prayer. Some days it will seem easy, other days it will be a struggle. It is during the times of struggle that we are called upon to be faithful, to keep our hearts supple and open so that however soft or faraway it seems, we can hear God’s voice. It is during these times that our relationship with God grows.
St Thérèse describes prayer as: “…a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love….”