|God Speaks in Thunderclaps and Whispers
During my early morning prayer outside during a July heat wave, I was grateful for every small whispering breeze that moved the leaves ever so slightly, listening to what God had to say to me in the day’s scriptures. Often at night, the heavens rumbled with thunder, lightning flashed, strong winds and rain wreaked havoc with flowers, as if the forces of nature are angry with a government that puts political interest above the welfare of people. Almost every day, there is a new slap at vulnerable people in need of health care, at immigrants whose only “crime” was entering our country without legal papers or carried here as children, at Mother Earth herself.
On a personal level, life brings its thunderclaps of pain and loss, and its whispers of comfort, consolation and hope. God speaks to us in both if we are able to listen, as the scriptures teach us. God spoke to Moses in thunder on the mountain, and to Elijah, in this week’s First Reading, not in heavy wind or earthquake, but in a “tiny whispering sound.” When apostles, caught in a storm at sea, are terrified by “a ghost” that is Jesus, Peter believes, walks on water toward Jesus, but loses focus and begins to sink, crying out “Lord, save me!” He is caught by Jesus and the wind dies down.
Like Peter, we are asked to “Take courage…do not be afraid,” but to trust in God even when storms rage around us or within us. We must learn to listen to God in both thunderclaps and whispers. Often it is difficult not to be afraid, to feel overwhelmed, to sink into discouragement and hopelessness, but this is when we most need to trust that Jesus will reach out to catch us, and maybe even enable us to “walk on water” with him.
Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
|Prayer by St. John Paul II
To you, Creator of nature and humanity,
of truth and beauty, I pray:
hear my voice for it is the voice of all victims
of wars and violence among individuals and nations.
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer.
Hear my voice when I beg you to instill in the hearts of all human beings
the vision of peace, the strength of justice,
and the joy of fellowship.