When we pray, we are very eager to listen to God’s voice. God’s voice is not like human voice, which one can hear. One might ask, how we can hear God’s voice in prayer.
God speaks to us in the silence of our heart. What is this inner silence? It is not a passive state of indifference, numbness or lack of energy. Rather, it is a state of calmness, when our thoughts subside and stop capturing our attention. What are the obstacles that block such inner silence? According to spiritual guides, the following noises are the main obstacles:
- The noise of hatred: This feeling makes prayer unfeasible, because the person does not have a spiritual life. St. John says: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).
- The noise of complaint: This develops an attitude of reproach; it creates distances and eliminates desires for dialogue with God. With a feeling of disgust against God, a serene dialogue is prevented.
- The noise of resentment: This is negative even for physical and psychological health. Having a reconciled heart is important.
- The noise of pride: It is an excess of self-love, a love of one’s own merits for which the person believes himself superior to others or not in need of God.
- The noise of envy: This makes one not to appreciate or speak well of others. It ignores the talents denying the action of God in others’ lives.
- The noise of fear: It prevents trusting God and his providence. It leads to believe that God does not care.
- The noise of worries: These circumstances absorb attention. There is lack of communication because worries generate concern.
- The noise of weakness: Prayer is believed not to be possible, or to be ineffective and the person decides not to do it.
- The noise of our past sins: The memory of our sins makes us feel guilty and we feel unworthy of our relationship with God.
- The noise of Vanity: We conform to the triviality of the world and remain on the surface of our life.
- The noise of fantasies: An overflowing imagination that is not controlled generates fantasies of all kinds that prevent listening to the voice of God.
May The Spirit of God guide us to develop close relationship with God and enable us to listen to His voice.
God bless you,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.