Monday, 19 November 2012

Early Posts

Mtt: 2:18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.” O Lord of mercy, listen to our voices of lamentation, come quickly and console us.
December 12
"Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."
Lk. 1:45
These words are spoken by Elizabeth to Mary as the two expectant mothers greet one another in today's gospel. How appropriate they are to this endeavour. I began with Eli's words of instruction to Samuel, "Speak Lord your servant is listening." Now Saint Elizabeth adds a further instruction for us, Believe that the what is spoken to you will be fulfilled. When Mary first heard the voice of the angel telling her of the Lord's plan she wondered how it was going to come to pass; and as she waited for God's plan to unfold, scripture tells us that she pondered it all in her heart. It is the Lord who must cause his plan for us to happen, our part is faith and discernment.
December 10
Are you fearful at this time? Fear is our response to the situations of our lives that threaten our peace and security. It prompts us to take the necessary actions to protect ourselves from these threats. However, when these situations are beyond our control we find ourselves bound by fear. Fear is the shackles that hold our hearts in bondage and slavery.

The Voice in the scriptures for today's liturgy speaks directly to hearts in hear. "Say to those who are of fearful heart, be strong, do not fear! Here is your God.....He will come and save you." Isaiah 35: This is the voice of God speaking through the prophet to a people who are living in the bondage of slavery and fear. This voice shatters the shackles of fear holding their hearts prisoner. This voice fills them with peace, peace that comes from hope. "....everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Daily we hear of people who have lost all hope, despair is the air they breath, fear is the voice that councils their every thought.

Perhaps the fears you face at this time are common and ordinary, perhaps they deep and powerful, making you their prisoner. To the later the voices of Advent are most personally addressed. How ever fear may be grasping at your heart at this time turn a listening heart to the Voices of Advent, they are surely and truly speaking to you. "Speak Lord, you servant needs to hear your voice."

December 06
The media is quite excited these days over the expectant mother in the royal family. Expectant excitement is a very good way of characterising the true spirit of these days of Advent. The prophet Isaiah describes it in these words. "The Lord Himself, therefore will give you a sign. It is this, the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel." It tells us that God has a plan and we have a future. Because of the commercialisation of Christmas, it is very easy to loose sight of what the true message really is. I do enjoy the festive celebrations of these days but the re awaking within me of this Voice of Advent reminding me that in spite of all the negativity that surrounds me God's eternal plan continues to unfold and that I am part of that plan and that nothing can stop God's plan from coming to pass.

Consider the humble maiden Mary hearing the voice of the angel telling her of God's plan and her role in that plan, how she pondered what such a message could mean. Mary was a person of faith and no doubt knew of the prophetic word of Isaiah but to be told that she was that maiden. She could understand how her womb could conceive a baby but that that baby was the Son of God, how could such a mystery be comprehended? Here Mary's voice, her words of reply are such an important lesson for us learn. "Let it be done unto me." This is God's plan and I want it to be done. Your servant awaits what is to be. Do you think of yourself, your life as being a part of God's plan? Ask and He will tell you.

November 28
Today's first reading tells of voices, voices singing:
"I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.
The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.
No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who had been ransomed from the earth."
"A new hymn", "...that no one could learn except..." How might one go about learning this hymn, to join ones voice to this glorious sound? Might it not be in the school of prayer where His VOICE is heard, where He teaches our hearts to sing with words not of our making, but with words and music that come from hymnal of all truth.
A couple weeks ago, while at mass, the choir was singing in their usual humble way. But this time as I listen, I heard their music as coming from a different place as my spirit was caught up into a new place of hearing. The music, the words of the liturgy filled my heart with a joyful peace and a deep sense of being in His presence where true worship is celebrated.
I felt I was shown the way our worship, our voices sound before God. Judge by the world's standards of music and oratory our liturgy may sound woefully lacking but not to God. Let us devote ourselves to the school of prayer where our voices will learn how to soar.

November 25
Today is the feast of Jesus Christ the King. The gospel has a verse that has a special significance to this blog.
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my VOICE." Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” John 18:37
No doubt Pilate's question was meant as sarcasm but for those who are seeking to grow in their spiritual life it is the key question, the starting point. Truth is not the proclaimation of kings or princes, nor the consensus of the majority, it is what God has made it to be since before this world existed. Truth is there not for us to determine but rather for us to discover. In the school of truth God is the teacher, we the students. We must enter this school of truth devoting ourselves to listening and learn as the VOICE of truth is teaching us. I have as my goal for this blog to share some of my lessons learned as I continue my listening in this life long school of truth.

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