Hearing the hidden voice

Recently, I was watching the movie “The Two Popes”. It follows a dialogue between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis before Francis becomes pope. In it pope Benedict says “I can no longer hear the voice of God”. But, once Benedict said “I have decided to resign as being pope” he again could hear the voice of God. Is this because he was ignoring the voice of God? More, broadly, is it because each of us have stopped listening and rather ignoring. This is a reciprocal thing. We tune out to God’s voice. Maybe, we don’t know the language or vehicle of how God communicates to us.

In Anthony De Mellow’s book “The Way to Love” in Chapter 12 he says “think of a flabby person covered in layers of fat. That is what your mind can become – flabby, covered in layers of fat till it becomes dull and lazy to think, to observe, to explore, to discover. We lose alertness, aliveness, flexibility, and we go to sleep. Look around you and you will see almost everyone of minds like dull, asleep, protected, by layers of fat, not wanting to be disturbed or questioned into wakefulness”.

Our culture’s continuous media of information creates a deafness or dullness which drowns out the voice of God. Our lives flick between videos on Netflix, rushing from one activity to the next, or filling our lives by shopping from one thing to the next. A culture of entertainment and consumption seems to be taking precedence.

Do we choose simplicity? Do we choose the path which steps down into life and not run away from life? A path to our own poverty. Of letting go of our ego, shadow or sin. Maybe this will shatter the façade of illusion to a continuous stream of what we want. More and more. But then again….Do we stop? Like a Jewish person, or a Christian, who stops on the Sabbath. Do we stop once a week? Creating a regular routine of stopping or a routine of prayer like meditation. In Australia, when it storms or rains heavily, the creeks are stirred up. The soils muddy the water. We cannot see through them clearly. Our minds are like these creeks. But in stillness, when the sun comes out the soil settles, and the rays of sunshine can piece the water and we can see through….in a moment of stillness we come attuned with the wonder of creation. Our hearts seek these moments.

But this is difficult. To shatter our illusions and busyness takes something that is beyond us. We must search. As Jesus said, “When you search, you shall find”. We cannot presume to have the answer before the answer. This mode of being calls us to wonder. Wondering in what is hidden and unknown. To step into creation. The mystery of God hidden in the fabric of our lives.

Peace comes when we attune ourselves to the living moment in creation and allow God to speak in ways we do not expect.

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18 December 2021

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