Word for Word 1/18/23

Fr. John Moser
Fr. John Moser

Every new year some people make “resolutions”. Maybe it is to change a behavior or habit, possibly to learn a new hobby, to exercise more. Too often we fail because we do not consider taking small steps toward personal change. This is true for our spiritual lives as well; we don’t think about how challenging it can be to create and sustain new, grace-filled habits.

“Oh, that today you would hear his [God’s] voice: Harden not your hearts.” Psalm 95:8, Hebrews 4:7b. In order to stop and hear God’s voice – for some this means to pray, for others spiritual reading – start by being silent. No texting, no reading emails, no phone, no technology, no wristwatch that is beeping or ringing; in short, permit no distractions. Try sitting silently for 60 seconds and listen for God’s voice; then after several days, increase to 90 seconds. After a week you add more time. Often as I was growing up, I noticed my mother would go to a room in our home and shut the door for a period of silence in her busy life.

This gradual approach can be utilized for forming any new spiritual habit or practice. In 2023 begin a spiritual exercise with regularity until it becomes a part of your daily routine. I promise your heart will not be the same when the last day of 2023 arrives. Saint Benedict who lived from about 480 to 547A.D. wrote: “The grace is in the small steps!”

Let us pray: Open my ears Lord that I may hear your voice. Open my eyes Jesus that I may see you at my side. Open my heart Lord that I may place my hope in you and do your will. Amen.

Fr. John Moser
St. Mary Catholic Churches
Hanover and Dorchester
St. Patrick Catholic Church Waukon