A spiritual life without discipline is impossible. “Discipline is the other side of discipleship.” The practice of a spiritual discipline makes us more sensitive to the small, gentle voice of God. Elijah did not encounter God in the mighty wind or in the earthquake or in the fire, but in the small voice. Through the practice of Spiritual discipline, we become attentive to that small voice and willing to respond when we hear it.
We have worried and overfilled lives and it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much outer noise that it is hard to truly hear our God when he is speaking to us. We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction he calls us.
So our lives have become absurd. In this word Absurd we find the Latin “Surdis” which means “deaf” A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear. When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient, the word for obedient comes from the Latin “Audire” which means” Listening”. So a spiritual discipline is needed in order to move slowly from an absurd to an obedient life, to move from a life filled with noisy worries to a life in which there is some free inner space where we can listen to our God and follow his guidance.
Jesus’ life was a life of obedience. He was always listening to the Father, always attentive to his voice, being all ear for God. The core of all prayer is indeed listening. Let’s create space for God to fill and our ears to hear.
Have a blessed lent as we press in and praise the Risen King.