(A reflection given during our recent Holy Hour for Vocations)

1Kings 19:8-13
8 [Elijah] arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
 9 And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lordwas not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Hos 2:14
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
Ps 37:7 Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him
Ps 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
Luke 6:12-13
12 In these days [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;
In the above Scripture texts we see the importance of silent prayer, alone with God for discerning and journeying in our Vocation. God continues to call many people to the priesthood and religious life but if our lives and minds are busy and noisy we will most likely miss the “still small voice” of God in our hearts. In silence and stillness before the Lord we can come to realise what is God’s will is for us and ask for the grace to accept and do it. In this way we will be like “those who, hearing the word [of the Lord], hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Lk 8:15).

We pray for all those who are being called to priesthood or religious life, that they may listen for the voice of the Lord and allow him to speak to them in stillness and silence and that the fruit of their silent prayer and adoration will the willingness to accept and follow the call they have received. We pray also for those who have already entered religious life that they too will always listen for the voice of the Lord in stillness and silence.