Listening to the Silence of God

In 1964, when I was 4, Simon and Garfunkle released “The Sound of Silence.” The second verse sings: “In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone

‘Neath’ the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night

And touched the sound of silence…”

I have always loved this song along with the musical genius of Simon and Garfunkle. In high school, the stage band that I was a trumpeter for perfomed this moving song. These words have now for several decades, poignantly spoken to the silence I more often than not have encountered in my prayer life. Perhaps, this has as well been your experience.

You might think that as a priest, I would hear more clearly and more often the voice of God. Yet, like you, I often wait upon the Lord within the deafening sound of silence. And, I am quite skeptical of the believer who claims to always hear God’s voice and know God’s will. I just do not see a plethora of examples of such within the pages of holy scripture.

These 40 days of Lent, I have focused upon the mystery of hearing, encountering, and understanding the voice and will of God. And, although this has been a most meaningful time, I am not sure that things have gotten any clearer. What is clearly true though, for you and me, is that God is in our midst always, even when we cannot percieve or hear Him. And, that is enough for me to continue on…