If you are like me, sometimes it occurs to you to do something, but it doesn’t make enough sense, or you second guess and don’t. Later you realize, to your disappointment, that you should have done that very thing. This happened on Friday: I was driving in a gray Pontiac Vibe looking for a paint store called the Color House, located in a southern area of Rhode Island. The Color House is a Benjamin Moore store, and I was picking up some donated paint for a parish project I recently got involved in. As I drove down Post Road, I saw a Benjamin Moore store off to the left, but ignored it, as the Map Quest directions indicated that the “Color House” was farther away. Yet, a little voice told me to just pull over and check this one out. I ignored the little voice, since it didn’t make sense to me. Twenty minutes later, lost and calling a friend for directions, I found the place I thought I was looking for, but once inside, I realized that the place I had ignored twenty minutes ago was actually the location where the owner was willing to give us the paint.
Sometimes, those little voices or interior impulses are the way the third person of the Holy Trinity likes to talk to me. Since my spouse is, by my consecration, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, I do need continual help and this is how he sometimes reaches out to me. This Lent, a big resolution of mine is to listen.
Listening is harder then I realized. I always thought I was an above-average listener, but try making this Lenten resolution and you may realize what I am realizing…listening is a subtle art and even greater when you are listening to the Third Person of the Trinity. My special focus is to listen carefully during the Celebration of the Eucharist, especially to the words of the readings. Often my mind drifts and I don’t hear what I was maybe meant to hear. (SIGH) Then I bring my ears back to where they belong and try listening again. Listening touches me, changes me and changes the way I listen to others.
And now, I am realizing that I am joined to the whole mystical body of Christ, especially the College of Cardinals, this Lent. We are all straining our ears, listening, realizing the deep need to listen to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity…and as I am realizing, he is speaking…I just need to acknowledge that little voice, listen, and pull the car over to the place where he is telling me to go. And listening, I am realizing, is also a certainty that someone else, the Second Person of the Trinity is also listening, especially as I pray this prayer, “Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us, a new Pope for Your Church who will please You by his holiness and lead us faithfully to You, who are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen”