Competing voices

Daily Reading for March 11

There are many voices competing for our attention in the world today—our families, our coworkers, the homeless and hungry, our politicians. We hear voices hounding us to buy more goods and services, voices instilling fear, hopeful voices, cynical voices, vengeful voices, our own voice of self-preservation. Which voices will we heed? Which words will become the springboards of our action and the source of our vision? I know how easy it is to become torn and scattered in a world of constant and often conflicting voices. My vision may become blurred with such competition for my heart. There are times when I feel imprisoned and voiceless in the midst of the endless demands for my commitment and loyalty. With so much demanding my attention and needing resolution, I often wonder where my place is. I sometimes feel helpless and powerless in the wake of the world’s needs. I must have the courage to stay the course when Jesus invites me, saying, “Make my word your home.”

It all begins in the silence of being present to God. The venue is my open and listening heart. Jesus said, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.” My goal is not success in holiness. It is longing to be faithful to the truth of Jesus’ words, regardless of the outcome. In the silence of prayer I have learned the meaning of perfect freedom, the only source of joy. It is what Jesus described as “abundant life,” but it is not a “possession.” Gregory of Nyssa, an early Christian mystic, bishop, and theologian of the church, learned from his own experience that life with God is never fully defined or completed; he speaks of the soul “continually making fresh discoveries.” God’s love for us is always expanding before our eyes and our desire for God is a never-ending journey. Prayer is a limitless vocation to live deeper and deeper into the mystery of God and our own authentic humanity. It is living with enthusiasm, in God.

From Come and See: The Transformation of Personal Prayer by David Keller. Copyright © 2009. Used by permission of Morehouse Publishing, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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