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January 14, 2018

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents before Christmas.  At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their night prayers when the youngest one began praying at the top of his lungs.

"LORD GOD, at this Christmas, please give me a new bike, a new basketball, and a new ipad.”

His older brother leaned over and nudged the younger brother and said, "Why are you shouting your prayers? God isn't deaf."  To which the little brother replied, "Yeah, God is not, but Grandma is!"

God is not deaf but we, at times, are.  "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." These are the words Samuel answered to the call of God in the first reading of this Sunday. What a beautiful prayer it is. Isn't it something we should all say when we come to converse with God?  All too often God may be speaking to us but we don't hear because we are not really listening.  There is nothing that frustrates us more than speaking to someone and finding that they are not listening to what we are saying.  And yet we expect God to react favourably to our requests when we are so distracted that we could not hear him if he did speak to us.  Prayer is supposed to be a dialogue between God and us, not one person doing all the talking.

We are constantly bombarded with noise and advertising from every direction.  Smart phone, tablet, laptop, print, television, magazine, radio, even our clothes, cars, skateboards, and coffee cups are invading all our senses.  Finding quiet times and quiet places to listen to God's message is hard to do. Spending one hour a week at mass is a good start but there are many more hours in a week.  What materials do we daily feed our mind, body, and spirit?  Be choosy about the movies and TV shows we watch, the websites we surf, the magazines and books we read.  Feed our spiritual and social life with good stuff and find a prayer corner (our chapel?) where we can say “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”