April 14, 2024

Hearing many voices can be confusing. We hear our own voice, the voice of other people, the voice of the unseen, voice of the worldly, and the voice of God.
Everyday is choice. Which voice do we listen to? The confusion of people today arises from the voices they hear. Without establishing one’s moral life in God, voices can put us down, can lead us to sin, and drive us away from God.
Which voice do we listen to? Let us learn to discern well through the disciplines of Lent i.e., fasting, abstinence, prayer, and almsgiving.
A humble listening called prayer is we listen to God and we talk to him. When we pray, we allow our soul to be lifted and be intimate with God. Jesus prayed many times. He prayed to listen to the Father. He prayed to ask the Father to listen also to him especially when he was tested, tried, and tempted.
Jesus was able to incarnate his core values into virtues when he allowed the Father to take charge of his life, suffering, and death.
We read from Prophet Jeremiah 7:23-28.
23 My one command to them was this: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. In everything, follow the way that I mark out for you, and you shall prosper.
24 But they did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed their own devices, their own stubborn and wicked inclinations, and got worse rather than better.
26 But they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have deliberately resisted, behaving worse than their ancestors.
27 So you will tell them all this, but they will not listen to you; you will call them, but they will not answer you.
28 Then you are to say to them, “This is the nation that will neither listen to the voice of Yahweh its God nor take correction. Sincerity is no more; it has vanished from their mouths.
The Lenten season is a beautiful time to listen to the Lord. We choose to let go of our vices through the discipline of Lent. We allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify our thoughts, words, and actions.
I remember someone ask me, “Fr. Marcs, I pray and attend the Holy Mass but my life never changed. I feel like my prayer life and attendance to the Holy Eucharist are meaningless and useless.”
How do we respond to this statement?
Shall we condemn them or criticize them? It is not our obligation to explain. Is it our moral responsibly to ask ourselves, how true and deep are my prayers and attendance to the sacraments of the church?
Values are natural disposition of goodness and godliness whether they are cultural or religious values. Virtues are natural responses and practice of the natural disposition of goodness and godliness.
Another male teacher told me, “Padi, I am helpless to overcome my vices especially alcohol, gambling, and drugs. But I am not losing hope. I thank the church for instilling in my soul, that as a human being, I realize my helplessness, but with God through my good habit of prayer, I am beginning to see light and hope to change my vices to virtues.” True enough, we cannot but with God we can.
Lent is telling us there is always hope to change. We maybe helpless as human beings but we are hopeful because God is with us. There is hope when we listen to the voice of God and not of men.

Congratulations to the Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS) for serving the province for 70 years of quality education. On March 15, 2024, a mass will be held to start the 70th founding anniversary celebration. Joe Anthony Lalwet of MPGCHS Batch 1991 will be the guest speaker.
Christopher Sigua and Troy Chumapoy are students of MPGCHS who give more meaning to the school’s anniversary through their honesty. They are victors of the school and of this generation.
Reach me at [email protected].