Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Interior Voice of the Spirit

It is certain from the Holy Scriptures that the Spirit of God dwells within us. There he acts, there he prays without ceasing, groans, desires, and asks for us what we do not know how to ask for ourselves. The Spirit urges us on, animates us, speaks to us when we are silent, suggests to us all truth, and so unites us to him that we become one spirit. (Thank you, Lord!)

That is the teaching of faith, and even those teachers farthest removed from the interior life cannot avoid acknowledging it to be so. To be sure, there are some who strive to maintain that in practice, we are illuminated by external law, or by the light of learning and reason, and that then our understanding acts of itself from that instruction. They do not rely sufficiently on upon the interior Teacher, the Holy Spirit, who does everything within us. We could not form a thought or desire without him. Alas, what blindness is ours! We suppose ourselves alone in the inner sanctuary, when God is more intimately present there than we are ourselves.

...We are then, always inspired, but we incessantly stifle the inspiration. God does not cease to speak, but the noise of the world around us, and the noise of our passions within, prevent our hearing him. ...How rare it is to find a soul still enough to hear God speak! The slightest murmur of our vain desires, or of a love fixed upon self, confounds all the words of the Spirit of God.

We hear well enough that he is speaking and that he is asking for something, but we cannot distinguish what is said, and often we are glad that we cannot. The least reserve, the slightest act rooted in self-consideration, the most imperceptible fear of hearing too clearly what God demands interferes with the still, small voice.

(Francois Fenelon, Talking With God--bold and italics mine)


Ann V. said...

Beautiful quote that resonated deeply for me.

Ann V.

Laura said...

And me. Such truth spoken there!

Islandsparrow said...

I am thinking deeply about his quote - I copied it and I would love to get the book. Have you read others on the same subject? I've read Listening Prayer by Leanne Payne, an essay by Paul Tournier, Dallas Willard's book on Hearing the Voice of God and another excellent book by a Canadian author, Brad Jersack - Can You Hear Me? Tuning In to the God Who Speaks - also Jan Johnson's books. I am always looking for new books on that topic though. Thank you for introducing this aauthor.