When Samuel was called by the Lord, he responded with the words, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” These were the words that the priest Eli had instructed him to say upon hearing God call to him, but Samuel’s words can also be a wonderful directive in how we should spend, at least some of our prayer time. Very often we fill our prayer with words; memorized prayers, the reading of Scripture, Rosaries and such, all of which are good, but unfortunately we include little or no time in silence. In these words of Samuel, we are reminded that our prayer should also include times of listening when we allow our Lord to speak to us. After all, Samuel did not say, “Listen, Lord, your servant is speaking.”
A few weeks ago the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ biennial SEEK Conference was held in Indianapolis with over 17,000 youth participants attending. It included periods of silent reflection, at Mass and other times of prayer, but the strongest period of silent prayer was during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which, through the Knights of Columbus, included the relic of the Incorrupt Heart of Saint Jean Vianney, a relic that will be coming to Canada in the near future.
This silent, listening prayer, which was such a central element of these young Catholic’s spiritual experience in Indianapolis, is a very important option of our “Faith in Action” program. Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is an ancient tradition of our faith, which is particularly aimed at including silent, ‘listening time,’ while sitting in the real presence of the Lord in the Eucharist. I encourage every Council to speak with their Chaplain with the desire of hosting a Council or Parish wide Hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. God is calling us to come and pray with him, in words, but also listening to what he wants us to hear.
Fr. Edward Gibney
Associate State Chaplain