Silence

Homily for Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (Year I)
June 12, 2020
Sacred Heart, EGF – 8:00 am


Listen. Did you hear that?

Silence.

Silence.

Silence is so much more than the mere absence of noise. Silence is a presence. Silence is the presence of an attentive heart: a heart that is listening for that tiny whispering sound that is the voice of God.

A heart in silence is a heart that is at peace. And a heart that is not at peace is a heart that is full of noise, even if there are no sound waves present around it.

Silence of the heart.

The presence of an attentive heart.

The ears of our hearts opened so that we can hear that tiny whispering sound of the voice of God.

A small voice.

A quiet voice.

Small, like the host we receive from this altar.

Silent, like the host we receive from this altar.

About a year ago, someone came to see me to talk about their prayer life. They were struggling to hear the voice of God. I said, “Tell me about your prayer.”

“Well, I go to adoration but I can’t hear the voice of God.”

“Tell me what you do in adoration?”

“Well, first I pray the rosary. Then evening prayer. Then I walk around and I pray the stations of the cross, and finally the divine mercy chaplet.”

Stop! Silence.

Ears open to hear what God has to say, not just filling up time with what I have to say.

When the voice of God speaks in our hearts, we know it, don’t we? That’s why we’re here today. We’ve heard that still, small voice at some point.

I remember the first couple that I prepared for marriage when I first came to Sacred Heart. I met with them in my office at 7:00 in the evening. They are in their early twenties, young and in love. We finish the meeting. I go back over to the rectory. It’s just after 8:00 and all of the lights are off. All of my housemates are in bed. I walked into the house and my heart was heavy and it just hurt. I thought, “What did I do? I could have had what they have!”

So, I went into the chapel and knelt before the. Blessed Sacrament, and I said, “Jesus, this hurts.” And there was a great peace. And I heard a still, small voice. Not an audible voice, but a voice nonetheless, speaking in the depths of my heart. It spoke my name.

“Matthew, you are thriving in the vocation that I have called you to.”

And there was peace.

The gospel today speaks of the importance of purity of heart. “Whoever looks at another lustfully commits adulterous in the heart.” That’s so dangerous because when our hearts are not pure, our hearts are not silent.

Purity of heart leads to peace of heart. Peace of heart leads to silence in the heart. Silence in the heart allows us to hear the voice of God.

That’s what we all long for. The psalm: “I long to look upon your face, O Lord.”

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

So, my brothers and sisters, as we approach the altar today, we pray that the Lord might silence any noise in our hearts and give us the grace to hear his voice more clearly.

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