Spiritual Direction: The ‘Hearing Aid’ for God
OK, so my siblings and I are all at the age when anyone who says, “Would you say that again?” might be told, “You need to get your hearing checked!” One of my brothers already has hearing aids and the rest of us are probably not far behind. While our physical hearing sometimes needs the help of “aids,” often our spiritual hearing does as well.
Now, I am not saying that God has an actual voice. But I do believe God is always and everywhere communicating with us. And the metaphor of hearing is one way to speak of this communication on our part. Though the scriptures are filled with reminders that, “God is near,” it often doesn’t feel that way to most of us humans. God can seem awfully quiet sometimes. And I might wonder about my own need for hearing aids when it comes to God.
Yes, there is a limit to how much our physical hearing can sharpen, but that is not true of our spiritual hearing. There are many ways to sharpen our spiritual hearing … prayer, religious practices, reading scripture and other reflections, sitting quietly, calming our mind chatter and being present in the moment are some of these ways.
Listening for the ‘Whispers of God’
Another “aid” I have found to be very helpful is having a spiritual director or companion. This is someone I can talk to about God and my desire to be more attentive to the One who is always near. When I meet with my spiritual director, I usually begin with sharing what is happening in my everyday life.
Hardly ever is it about a big “spiritual” experience. Together, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we both listen for the whispers of God, the subtle movements, the moments that get my attention or occasionally awe me or bring me to tears. Meeting with a spiritual companion every month of two helps me to pay better attention, to sharpen my hearing skills and to trust that, indeed, God is near. It’s a wonderful hearing “aid!”
If you are interested in exploring spiritual direction, you might check out opportunities in your local area. Also, Providence Spirituality & Conference Center can connect to you to one of our spiritual companion/directors here at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana. While meeting in person is ideal, some of our directors can provide online meeting opportunities as well.
Whatever hearing “aids” you choose, keep, Philippians 4:5, in your heart:
“The Lord is near.”
Are You Seeking Spiritual Direction?
Are you or someone you know seeking Spiritual Direction? Find out more about Spiritual Direction with the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, by contacting Sister Paula Damiano at email@example.com.