Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” – Luke 1:30-31
In the first chapter of Luke we are confronted with two experiences of human beings hearing voices from God. The first, Zechariah, was attending to his service in the temple. The second, a young maiden, Mary, we do not know what she was doing at the moment the angel came to her, artists through the ages have portrayed many possibilities.
What is the disposition both of these had that we can learn from to help us too, to hear God’s voice? In the play, Saint Joan, by Bernard Shaw, there is a dialogue that unfolds between King (Dauphin) Charles and Joan in regard to heavenly messengers.
The King complains, “Oh, your voices, your voices. Why dont the voices come to me? I am king, not you.”
To which Joan replies: “They do come to you; but you do not hear them. You have not sat in the field in the evening listening for them. When the angelus rings you cross yourself and have done with it; but if you prayed from your heart, and listened to the thrilling of the bells in the air after they stop ringing, you would hear the voices as well as I do.”
What is the difference? Waiting. Listening. Zechariah and Mary both had the disposition of expectant listening to God. Both raised their minds and hearts to God in prayer. During these remaining weeks of Lent, may we make an exercise of prayer. To wait and listen, and find our hearts hearing the voice of God.
May God Bless you.