“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” – Lk 3:22
Many voices vie for our attention. They can be placed in two camps. One is for us; the other is against us.
The first and louder kind says, “Prove that you are a good person,” or “You’d better be ashamed of yourself,” or “Nobody really cares about you,” or “You’re a nobody because you don’t have anybody,” or “You’ve done THAT! God can no longer love you!” or ‘You’re never be ______ enough” This type of voice demands that we make ourselves more successful, popular, powerful, and even holy in order to be accepted and loved. It is so ingrained in us and permeates our social climate that going against it involves a struggle against the dominant attitude. It involves a kind of suffering.
Yet, beneath all these often very noisy voices a still, small voice whispers, “You are my Beloved, on whom my favor rests.” That's the voice we need to hear most of all. To hear that voice, however, requires serious willingness; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen. It may take time to get past those deafening voices telling us that our worth is directly proportional to how well we perform or to what we possess.
Listening to the second voice, which is gentler and deeper than human language, is essentially the journey of Lent. It is also the discipline of prayer: letting God’s voice express to you and I, in our own unique way, that we are “Beloved of God.” The more we allow this truth to ground and root our way of seeing and being, the more we are empowered to treat others as God’s beloved. Jesus kept going back to this center of his life. We are called to do likewise.
"Lord, help me to devote time for prayer and solitude. Help me to listen to your voice within.”
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