Franciscan Spirit Blog

Listen for the Voice of God

Man watching the skies|

How many languages does God speak? I know it sounds like a strange question, but there is a reason for it. Sometimes we place restrictions on God when it comes to his ability to communicate. God has no limits, yet it is easy to project our weaknesses onto God. When we see nothing but tragedy in life, we may ask, “Does God really know what is going on?” Yes, God knows. We might also reason that God wouldn’t allow bad things to happen to innocent people.

We should remember that God allows humans to do what is good, just, and virtuous. But God also allows others to do what is bad, sinful, and unjust. God’s gift to us is our freedom to love. But with that also comes the freedom to hate. And knowing God, we can only believe that, in spite of all the evil we see, there is much more good being done. One act of love can overcome many acts of evil. Remember, Jesus’ death on the cross redeemed all humankind.

Spoken in the Heart

For 11 years, I served as director of ministry at a large retirement center. The residents numbered over 700, and included all facets of retirement living: independent, assisted care, full nursing care, as well as a wonderful Alzheimer’s wing. Three times a week, we had Mass. And each day, with lay help, we distributed the Eucharist.

From time to time, someone would question whether our Alzheimer’s patients could understand what was going on around them. But I came to realize that, while such residents might not be able to communicate with us, as far as language was concerned, they were not isolated from the Lord. The simple truth is that God has no difficulty communicating with Alzheimer’s patients. The language that is used is far different than our human language. But those are our limitations, not God’s. And I admit that there is mystery here. There is so much we humans do not understand.

Communication without language is always taking place. The relationship of a mother with her newborn is filled with communication from both. The baby communicates with cries and cooing; the mother by touch and by voice. Who would deny that there is a great deal of communication going on between the two?

With Alzheimer’s patients, there is communication by the loving care they are given. But God communicates in ways you and I cannot understand. There is no child of God’s that does not have the opportunity of hearing God’s voice in some way.

Be still and listen.

Pause and Pray

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