Daily Office Readings for Thursday in the Week of the First Sunday after the Epiphany: Year 2
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, as on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors put me to the test, though they had seen my works” (Hebrews 3:7 – 9)
Today if you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts. I think it takes a minute do discern where the internal voice is coming from. We can call it conscience, or in my case, pondering or whatever. The point from the Hebrews reading is that we need to at least discern the source of the voice.
I have found that listening deeply requires me to check my emotions. I have to ask myself how am I feeling. Am I disturbed about something? Am I nervous about something? I must also ask myself if I am overjoyed about anything. All of these moods or emotions could alter what the Spirit is saying to us. Such clearing of the mind requires contemplation, meditation and often just sitting quietly alone. I recall the words of Blaise Pascal who said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. I modified his words to read, “All of humanity’s problems stem from a person’s refusal to sit quietly in a room alone.
Aside from the gender inclusion I want to acknowledge that it is not so much an inability to sit alone but our flat out refusal to do so. I think this is the hardness of heart that the Holy Spirit warns against. You should try it. Sometimes we just need to shut everything off and be still. And yes, know that God is God.(Psalm 46:10)
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John