INTRODUCTION TO MY BLOG SITE
Revelation to Samuel. During the time young Samuel was minister to the LORD under Eli, the word of the LORD was scarce and vision infrequent. One day Eli was asleep in his usual place. His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see. The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was. The LORD called to Samuel, who answered, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” “I did not call you,” Eli answered. “Go back to sleep.”So he went back to sleep. Again the LORD called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.” But he answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.” Samuel did not yet recognize the LORD, since the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the LORD came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel! Samuel answered,“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
The first thing you notice in the text is that the LORD chooses a young person to hear His voice. The voice of the LORD is scarcely heard and there is trouble in the prophet’s house but the LORD has a remedy, he will make his VOICE heard again.
The lamp of the LORD’s presence is still alight but Eli and his generation must hand on this light to the next generation. But to whom, his sons are not interested in hearing or receiving instruction.
Samuel is the one, he has been prepared by the LORD and Eli will teach him how to listen to the VOICE of the LORD. It has been so down through the ages in the Church, “I am with you always”. The Lord’s voice will never be silent especially to those in times of greatest need and he will send us those who can teach us how to listen.
In his prayer for the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII prayed that the Church would experience a new Pentecost. Following the close of the Council, that prayer was answered as the Grace of Renewal was experienced in the Church in many different forms. New as well as traditional forms of spirituality began to experience an awakening to the Voice of the Spirit. It has been my good fortune over the years serving in the priesthood to have encountered many of these.
My experience of the “Grace of Renewal” began with the Spiritual Exercise of Saint Ignatius of Loyola in 1971 on a thirty day retreat with Fr. John English, Fr. John Veltri and the team at Guelph Ontario. I visited Madonna House in Combermere Ontario where I met its founder Catherine Doherty, Fr. Francis Martin and many others priests and lay people who visited there in the early 70’s. There was the Movement for a Better World Retreat and the Cursillo Movement. I met and received a personal word and blessing from Mother Teresa as well as John Vanier. But perhaps my most influential experience was working closely with the Charismatic Renew for 13 years in Kitchener Ontario as well as attending many of the Priest, Deacon and Seminary conferences in Steubenville OH.
Throughout these many experiences I received much wise council in the ways of the spiritual life some of which I hope to share through the vehicle of this blog. Perhaps it might be summed up by Eli’s advice to Samuel, go to that place in your heart that is restless and seeking and say, “Speak Lord, Your Servant is Listening”.