|By Fr. Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose and Vicar General for special projects, Diocese of San Jose. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowing the Voice of God
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Once, published in England in the Journal of Developmental Science and Child Neurology, there was a study of newborn infants and their mothers. There were sample recordings of thirty-one infants crying with twenty-three new mothers in the study. A sample of five voices was played for each mother, one of which was their child. Within just twenty-four hours of the child being born, twelve out of the twenty-three mothers could identify her child right away. After just two days, every single one of the twenty-three mothers could immediately identify every single time they heard the sound of her child’s crying voice.
An interesting part of the study was when the mothers were sleeping they would immediately wake up when their own child cried. It demonstrated the ability of the mother to sleep despite the noise of different children crying except for her own child’s voice. Most parents will validate this as they know the difference between cries among children.
It is amazing—the ability of the human mind, heart and ear to be able to tune into a voice when it wants to and needs to hear our own children. It is a well accepted phenomenon and proven now by this study.
The Lord God knows our voices and our cries. But we also are called to attune our minds and hearts to the voice of God. There is a cacophony of voices in the world that vie for our attention. We have the ability to attune our minds and our hearts to whatever we want to listen to. It is our choice then to choose to listen to Christ
This will only happen when we spend quantity and quality time in prayer, where we can attune our minds to the voice of God, where we can listen and become familiar with that voice. And when we hear that voice, we are called to attend to what that voice says.
In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the author reminds us that we are called to grow our church and to proclaim the Gospel. How do we do that in our world today? We can help others listen to that same voice by sharing our own experience of how God is operating in our lives. We share how we see God operate in our family, in our children, in our parents. We share how we see God operate in the midst of all the good things and the bad things that happen.
If we do not spend the time in quiet prayer, we will never be able to recognize that voice; we will never be able to attune our minds and hearts to what God has to say. Every single one of us needs that quality time of prayer. Today may we stop and listen to what God has to say to us coming to know the Shepherd’s call. We are called to attune our minds and our hearts to that voice.