Learning to hear God’s voice isn’t always easy. Just ask Samuel. This story has three pieces of encouraging news.
First, it’s okay to struggle and get it wrong. Samuel occasionally missed God’s voice as well, even years after this event (1 Samuel 16:7). We’re all still learning how to tune into the Spirit.
Second, God was very patient with Samuel as He is with us. He keeps sending messages our way, even though He knows we will likely miss some of them in the commotion of life.
Finally, you’re probably hearing from the Lord already and may not realize it yet.
Here’s something to consider: why did Samuel run to Eli when God called him? Perhaps God’s voice sounded more ‘natural’ than he presumed, so he looked for a natural source. Imagine how thrilled Samuel was to discover that it was God calling him all along. The same is true for us. God doesn’t usually speak to us with an audible voice. Rather, he often chooses natural means, including our consciences and our imaginations. Sometimes our thoughts and feeling, even mental images we see have their source in God.
Keep that in mind as you go to Mass today. If you feel your heart being moved, even if it’s by only one phrase from the homily, it could be the Spirit stirring within you. If a thought flashes across your mind like “That person seems anxious,” or the name of your coworker pops into your mind, you might take that as a cue to pray for them.
As you keep leaning into Him, trust that the Lord will give you ears to hear His voice.