sense-able

Dec 14, 2023

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The conclusion of today’s gospel reading caught my attention: they who have ears to hear, let them listen.

Our physical senses connect us with the world that surrounds us. We see, we touch, we taste, we smell and we hear.

However we know too that these physical senses can also invite us to a deeper reality. Just as we have physical senses we also have deeper spiritual senses which are the window to the life of the soul.

Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises invites us to use our physical senses in prayer as a way of becoming more sensitive to the voice of Jesus, an invitation to hear with the ears of the heart and to see with the vision of faith, moving beyond our own blinkered perceptions and fear-filled prejudices to truly hear his voice, receive his gaze and to experience his touch.

In this most sensible of methods we soon fine that we are living more deliberately and abundantly.

A couple of quotations from John of the Cross whose feast we celebrate today:

However softly we speak, God is so close to us that he can hear us; nor do we need wings to go in search of him, but merely to seek solitude and contemplate him within ourselves, without being surprised to find such a good guest there.

In sorrow and suffering, go straight to God with confidence, and you will be strengthened, enlightened and instructed.

You might like to…

  • make a point over the next few hours of noticing your physical senses. What can you see, touch, taste, hear and smell. Then add a question inviting Jesus to speak to you, asking what can i really really see? What can I really really touch? What can I really really hear…

4 Comments

  1. ‘…Open the ears of my heart, Lord, I want to really, really hear you’. Your reflection this morning, really resonated with me. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. In sorrow & in suffering go straight to God with confidence… these words spoke very powerfully to me today.

    Reply
  3. Fr John I have often thought of late how our physical senses can be deceived for example; our eyes might see water on the road ahead when we are driving but this is the well known mirage ahead. However our God can be relied on not to deceive our spiritual senses

    Reply
  4. In Fred’s post, he says “However our God can be relied on not to deceive our spiritual senses”.
    But can he? According to the Lord’s Prayer, this is not so. ” Lead us not into temptation” Why would we ask God not to do something he would never do? I therefore suspect a mistranslation at some point in history, and it should be something like “Let us not be led into temptation”.

    Reply

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