Are we reliving the days of Eve? I recently finished reading Father Michael Gaitley’s book 33 Days to Merciful Love. In it, he talks about trust in God. He takes us way back to the time of Adam and Eve and “the Fall.” You will recall their downfall was distrust. As I read the last few pages of the book I was struck by these words: recall that our trust problem began with the fall of Adam and Eve. More specifically, it began with a lie: Eve listened to the lie of the serpent, a lie that made God seem jealous, selfish and conniving. In other words, it called into question God’s goodness. Thus, Adam and Eve and we ourselves, are “afraid of the God of whom we have conceived a distorted image….”
The last part in quotes comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That whole paragraph awakened something in me. It got me thinking about those who have gone before us. It got me thinking about the benefits of solitude, silence and awareness and the implications of “noise.” Let me explain.
While praying the rosary today and meditating on the mysteries, I thought back to all the bible stories we’ve heard. The ones of encounters with God – Moses, David, Solomon, Saul, Paul, Peter, just to name a few. These individuals never saw God face to face but they “heard” Him. These biblical figures were special because they shared their experiences and contributed to the history of our faith. Often, for me at least, we imagine that these figures were extra special, that they were chosen by God for His revelation.
Today I realized we too are chosen. We too can encounter God in the same way our biblical ancestors did! Of course, we won’t see Him face to face but we can hear Him in the same way if we would stop long enough. How long is long enough? Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes 10, sometimes 30 or longer. The results are definitely worth the wait. The benefits of silence, solitude and awareness are the ability to hear from God, guidance of the Spirit, increased faith and trust in God, increased love of God and a desire to please Him in all things.
So what is “noise” and what are the implications of allowing it to rule our lives? “Noise” is one’s inability to be still. Noise is the incessant chatter of the mind. Scripture says: Be still and know that I am God. This noise leaves no time or room for God. It creates a “fog” that doesn’t allow us to see things clearly and because of the noise and the fog we make decisions that do not benefit us. We become distracted.
In our distraction we believe the lies – the lies of the world. We react impulsively without seeking the discernment of God. We lack trust in Him. So the implications of noise? Reliving the days of Eve. Falling for the lies of the world, our new serpent – Satan disguised yet again and causing humanity to distrust God. Falsely believing that everything we have and are is our own doing and that God had nothing to do with it.
There is so much more to us humans than our flesh and bones and our possessions. We’re missing the point of life when we focus on the worldly, when we move around in routine, refusing to change because we believe the lie: “that’s just the way I am.” I believe the root of that excuse is pure laziness – a refusal to put in the effort, a refusal to become a better version of oneself, a refusal to be obedient to the Word. We all know that’s not really “just the way we are!” It’s just another lie we choose to believe – following Eve’s footsteps. Why?