The bible tells us that Jesus went often into the desert to pray to his heavenly Father. Might we not also believe his intent was to listen, to hear the Voice of God?
While Jesus was on earth he provided us with many examples of how to find and follow God’s will. “I am the way, the truth and the life,” He said. “Follow Me” were words we can live by. Having left us with his own words and life as a perfect example of how to live, He promised, in a sense, to continue his instructions through the voice of the Holy Spirit.
How can the voice of the Holy Spirit be received if our minds are cluttered with unnecessary thoughts and we are distracted by the useless sounds surrounding us? His voice cannot be heard until our minds are quiet for a while. In one of his lectures on television, Bishop Fulton Sheen talked about how, in our society, the prevalence of noise is rampant, activity has become an addiction, and we do not seem to have the discipline to pause and control those random thoughts.
This need not be. If we are to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, we must learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil. To do this we need only sit quietly for a brief period of time, and free our minds to become receptive to his voice. The approach is simple. We are told not to fight those thoughts but merely to gently dismiss them as they occur.
With the Feast of Pentecost, we celebrated Jesus’ promise to remain with us – his promise to send us the Holy Spirit. Spend a moment in quiet expectation of the reception of God’s word. Consider, for instance, coming to Mass perhaps 15 minutes earlier, relaxing and reviewing the Sunday readings. Having thus filled our minds with more appropriate thoughts, we can then practice rejecting everything else.
How better to prepare for the holy sacrifice of the Mass than by opening our hearts and minds to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as Jesus taught us to do?