God speaks to each one of us at every moment of our lives, according to the Psalmist: “Today, listen to the voice of the Lord” (Ps 95:7). What does God’s voice sound like? Here are five ways that the Lord speaks to us, which are also five ways that we can begin to prayerfully listen to him.
1. In silence
We need to be quiet to listen. To hear and recognize God’s voice requires us to put down what we are doing, cast our anxieties and troubles at God’s feet, and give our whole attention to him. When we are recollected in silence before God, we begin to hear his voice.
2. Through Scripture
“The word of God is living and effective” (Heb. 4:12). The Word of God is not merely proclaimed to people in general. God speaks to you through the words of the Holy Scriptures, especially when they are proclaimed in the liturgy. “Get the dust off that Bible and redeem your poor soul!”
3. Through your conscience
When we examine our consciences, we listen for God’s voice: “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment…His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (C.C.C., 1776).
4. Through the beauty of nature
Every creature bears the mark of the Creator. Through the wonders of nature, God speaks to us of his own infinite beauty.
5. Through other persons
“Person signifies what is most perfect in all nature” (St. Thomas Aquinas). Of all the marvels of the universe, persons most resemble God in his infinite glory. When we interact with our friends, we are communing with people made in the image of God. What is the Lord saying to us through those whom we love?
Image: Simon Vouet, St. Jerome and the Angel.