We all know the stories of Moses and the burning bush, of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, and of Fatima when Mary appeared to children. I’ve often wondered what it was like “back in the day” when it seems God and angels appeared and spoke directly with people. The Old Testament has many instances, and of course with the New Testament starting with our Lord Jesus and His life on earth there are many instances of direct communication with the Divine. Reading the Bible makes it seem like it was a common-place occurrence.
We sometimes want to ask “why doesn’t He speak to us now”. Heaven truly knows we could use it, and in many facets of our lives we are in desperate need of guidance from a source of good. I think though that, while the Old Testament makes it feel more common-place back then, if you look at the instances and realize the number of years the Old Testament encompasses, we understand these occurrences weren’t so common- place. I think it is also true that God hasn’t stopped communicating with us at all, and if we understand that He speaks through His people there is an even greater chance to hear Him strictly due to the increased population we have now in relation to “Biblical times”.
I believe that God gives us, and by us I mean all His children, constant opportunity to speak with Him. God constantly whispers to us. If you have ever seen a small child pick a dandelion for their Mom, and the smile with which the Mother accepts the gift, you have seen God speak. It is a message to us from the love of the child for their mother, the love of the Mother receiving the gift and to those who observe such pure love; God is whispering to us.
About a week and a half ago my Mom had her hip replaced and my brother and I have been taking turns staying with her and Dad to help her recuperate. We are glad to do so and it is the proper thing to do, but it is not all fun and games by any stretch of the imagination. Jim and I are grateful to still have our parents and it is a labor of love, and in this act God whispers to us. Mom has been getting up about every 2-3 hours each night and that can be tiring for everyone. I feel I have been doing what is in God’s plan through helping another in need. Yesterday though (March 10) my eyes were opened and I got a lesson in humility I didn’t expect. Here I am staying a couple days then getting home and relishing a full night’s sleep. What I realized is that my Dad, who is 89 and can really use sleep, has been up every single time of every single night since Mom has been home. Sure he is not able to lift her but he has been there every step of the way, has helped in numerous ways and he has not complained one iota. In my Father’s devotion to my Mother, God whispered to me and gave me the gift of humility.
God continues to whisper to us each and every day in a myriad of ways. I don’t doubt that at this very moment perhaps God is speaking to someone in a more direct manner, and perhaps in 50 years we will know this event to be true and legitimate if God intends it to be a public revelation. I, however, cannot afford to wait until that may happen to me before I start listening to God. It is most highly unlikely and honestly would be arrogant of me to think that it will. Instead, I need to listen for God’s whispers in all things around me. From solace I find in being outdoors in the world God created for us, to a feeling that what I am about to do is either right or wrong, to seeing God through the actions of another, I need to be listening.
I also have to do my part to ensure the message can get through. Sin is a kind of white noise when it comes to hearing and feeling God. With each sin the white noise gets louder and the message harder to hear. It can start very small. For instance, if I don’t go to confession for a while it gets easier for me to think “heck, what’s the big deal about missing confession”. It can then be easier to start thinking “why do I need to go to Mass each week, skipping once in a while is no big deal”, and that can lead to something like “the eucharist is really just symbolic, how can it be real”. From there it becomes more about me; after all “I haven’t been hit by lightning yet so why go to church; after all I think I am a good person isn’t that all that matters?” Yes, sin is white noise that continually tries to drown out the continual messages God sends us. The good news is, God doesn’t stop whispering to us and quite frankly His whispers are way loud enough for us to hear if we just position ourselves to do so by taking part in the Sacraments He Himself has given us.
Pat Rosmarin, Lecturer