|Francis of Assisi at prayer|
Since we got up this morning, God has been trying to speak to us: through the beauty of nature, through the love of family and friends and colleagues, through the hymns we sing and the scripture we hear. In a hundred and one different ways, God's voice is loud and clear.
Unfortunately, we don’t always hear God’s voice because we’re not always on the same wavelength; we’re not on the right frequency.
There’s a story about someone during the Depression of the 1930s, desperately seeking employment. He saw a "Help Wanted" ad for a telegraph operator. This fellow had no experience, but he did learn the Morse code on his own. And he applied and went for an interview.
He sat down to wait his turn. After only a few minutes, his face suddenly lit up. He stood and went directly into the manager's office. Within a few minutes, the manager appeared at the door with the young fellow and announced that he was hiring him for the telegraph job.
Another applicant asked, "What did this young fellow say? After all, he was the last one here."
The manager answered: "It was nothing he said. All morning long I have been tapping out a message on my office window in Morse code. It was loud enough for all of you to hear. The message was: ‘If you can understand this message, come on in. You're hired.’ “All of you heard it. But this young fellow was the only one who listened."
Are we listening?
Prayer -- tuning in to the presence of God -- puts us on the right frequency.
So, are we listening? Do we reflect the presence of God in our everyday attitudes and behaviors?
There are many examples of good listeners in this world-wide Catholic faith community. We are 1.2 billion plus believers, rich and poor, black and white, American, European, Asian and African, a family that celebrates the presence of the living Christ, sacramentally and mystically.
We have splendid heroes and heroines: Francis and Clare of Assisi, Dominic, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, Vincent de Paul, Therese of Lisieux, Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, and the list goes on and on.
We always have something to celebrate: the blessing of animals, the communion of saints, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Easter, Pentecost, the great feasts of the Virgin Mary—on and on.
We are also a community that takes a stand on peace and justice. The Catholic community sponsors and staffs shelters, hospices, soup kitchens, AIDS treatment centers, hospitals and schools and Catholic Relief and Refugee agencies and more, throughout the world.
We ought to tune into the presence of God especially through regular prayer and give thanks to God for this community to which we belong: a community that calls us to a life with God here and now, and to eternal life.