How to Hear God’s Voice this Lent
Lent is a time of prayer and, therefore, a time of listening. It might be tempting to get frustrated with just sitting there in prayer and not hearing anything. We call Jesus the Word, however, and he speaks. The difficulty is learning how to listen to his voice. The Word spoke to us using words in Scripture, although he speaks now without words, in the still silence.
God speaks to us in silence, but what does that mean exactly? When we pray, we enter into the presence of God. This is even easier to comprehend and stronger in its impact when we pray before the Blessed Sacrament. There is a conversation that happens as we focus our attention on God and pour out our minds and hearts toward him, putting our life before him.
He definitely responds! He receives this prayer and answers by drawing us into his life. We might want a specific verbal answer to our thoughts and prayers, although he responds in a more powerful way with his very self. He contains all the answers we need, but we have to receive this divine gift and allow God to work within us. He will move and guide our thoughts and actions if we allow him.
Our conversation and relationship with God is more real than any other, even though it happens in a hidden way within us. This leads many people to write it off, because we are used to sounds, images, and concrete things that easily attract our attention. God does give us concrete things, especially the words of Scripture and even his sacramental presence in the Eucharist, and in addition wants us to express our loving relationship with him in prayer.
His own presence within us leads us and transforms us, although we need to learn how to attend to it and remove all the obstacles that get in the way. Lent is the perfect time to do this–to cut back on attachments and distractions and focus more on prayer. Silence is both a habit and a gift, being able to place ourselves before God and to learn to listen to his voice and movements within us.
Looking for a good way to journey through this Lent as a man in Christ? Our 2023 Lenten spiritual exercise starts February 22 (Ash Wednesday). Get prepared here.
Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Ave Maria University and B.A. and M.A. in Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN). He serves as Director of Content for Exodus and as Visiting Associate Professor at the Augustine Institute in Denver. He was previously the Associate Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Denver. He has founded a Catholic school and served as a DRE in two parishes and as Director of Catholic Studies at the University of Mary. He is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization (TAN), Restoring Humanity: Essays on the Evangelization of Culture (Divine Providence Press) and The Beer Option: Brewing a Catholic Culture Yesterday & Today (Angelico Press). His editing experience includes six years as the managing editor of the journal Nova et Vetera and the books Renewing Catholic Schools: How to Regain a Catholic Vision in a Secular Age (Catholic Education Press) and The University and the Church: Don J. Briel’s Essays on Education (Cluny Media).
Like any resolution, sometimes our Lenten practices don’t last long. It helps if we surround our best intentions with practices and support to get us past the first week of Lent and beyond.Read More
Lent: A Survival Guide
Lent is a time of prayer and, therefore, a time of listening. It might be tempting to get frustrated with just sitting there in prayer and not hearing anything. We call Jesus the Word, however, and he speaks. The difficulty is learning how to listen to his voice. The Word spoke to us using words in Scripture, although he speaks now without words, in the still silence.Read More
How to Hear God’s Voice this Lent