Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……

Breathe in all that is of God and from God…all that is true, honest, pure, admirable, noble, decent, virtuous, worthy of praise, good, loving, kind – all that deserves respect..

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence, into pure joy. Keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity. Come to that place, that space within, that place of deep silence – Solitude…to just being here and now, without having to accomplish something.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that come with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good….every moment of the day brings new opportunities and possibilities.

May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!

This meditation is on listening to the Lord. Pray, meditate or sing the following song titled “Listen”.

Listen, let your heart keep seeking,
Listen to his constant speaking,
Listen to the Spirit calling you.
Listen to his inspiration,
Listen to his invitation,
Listen to the Spirit calling you.

He’s in the sound of the thunder, in the whisper of the breeze.
He’s in the might of the whirlwind, in the roaring of the seas.

He’s in the laughter of children, in the patter of the rain.
Hear him in cries of the suffering, in their moaning and their pain.

He’s in the noise of the city, in the twitter of the bird,
And in the night time the stillness helps you listen to his word.

He speaks through all your companions, thru the friendly, thru the foe.
Therefore give ear to the Spirit wheresoever He may blow.

Elijah became desperate, disturbed by the evil designs of Jezebel and the weakness of Ahab, king of Israel. Threatened by Jezebel, he fled to the desert and prayed for death and said to the Lord, “this is enough…take my life…I am no better than my fathers”. He came to a point where he saw no direction and no escape from his struggles. He cried his pains and frustrations and hunger and was fed by God. He became strong in his trust and continued his journey and persevered in his efforts to fulfill his prophetic mission.

Elijah came to a cave on Horeb and took shelter (1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13). The Lord asked him to go outside and stand on the mountain and wait for him. Elijah was used to the visits of the Lord in extraordinary events of nature. He looked for God in the strong wind, earthquake and fire and failed to find God. Finally he found God and heard his voice in a gentle whispering sound.

Elijah had to learn to listen to the gentle voice from inside and trust that voice. Learn to listen to your heart.

Adam and Eve heard the voice of God in the garden in a moment of shame and guilt. Abraham heard the voice of God in welcoming strange guests. Moses heard the voice of God in a burning bush, Jacob in wrestling with the Angel, Isaiah in a smoke filled sanctuary, Ezekiel in a vision. Samuel in a dream, Mary in the still voice of an Angel, Zachariah in a smoke filled sanctuary during his ministry, Peter and his friends in fishing, Mary of Magdala in a Gardner, Two disciples on the way to Emmaus in breaking bread with stranger on the road, Paul on his journey to persecute Christians…..and there are so many and varied situations where people heard the voice of God.

The Lord’s voice comes to us through many unexpected and surprising events and experiences. Wait for the Lord…wait with courage…listen to his voice!

The long journey home from Babylon to Zion was an important part of Israel’s history. God had forgiven them and brought them back home. The Psalmist says, God has not just brought them home from exile, but has now rehabilitated them.

The Psalmist tells them that they are listening to wrong voices and calls them to listen to the voice of God (Psalm 85). God speaks peace to His people, not anger or hatred. God’s hesed and emet, His love and His faithfulness have embraced. His love and fidelity have become one…they have fused into one. He cannot but love.

Discovering the unfailing, steadfast nature of Covenant love gave the returnees of exile the confidence they needed. They could now sing and shout: Faithfulness will spring from the ground…the Lord will give what is good…earth will yield”.

I will hear what God proclaims;
The Lord – for he proclaims peace.
Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him,
Glory dwelling in our land.

The Psalmist heard the voice of the Lord in nature. The heaven proclaim the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of his hands. One of the true, characteristic qualities of religion and spirituality is a sense of awe and wonder at the mystery of man and the vast universe. Our Poet (Psalm 19) gazes at the heavens and contemplates the mystery of creation. He listens and meditates on the word of creation and on the word of redemption and finds God’s word creating and redeeming and keeping all creation in perfect order. He also reflects on God’s law as the wisdom of God that governs the universe. The last verse is a prayer that we can all share: May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth, 
their words to the ends of the world. 

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.

By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19)

Pray the whole psalm (Psalm 19) when you have an opportunity.

Keep listening….you will hear His voice and you will discern His plan and purpose!

To be listening is to remain open to the unfolding of the mystery of God’s will and purpose for us…to be open to God’s self-revelation as we encounter people and situations and many events in the universe….

This meditation is left incomplete for you to complete……..

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs

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