It has never been easy to hear the message of faith. In our day we are usually so engrossed in the problems of earthly existence that we simply have no time to listen to this message and to reflect on God. For some, religion has been reduced to celebrating Christmas and Easter and to observing a few traditions for fear of being ‘torn away from our roots’. Others do not go to church at all because they are ‘too busy’. ‘He is engrossed in his work’; ‘work is everything to her’; ‘he is a busy man’. These are some of the best compliments that one can receive from friends and colleagues. ‘Busy people’ are a breed peculiar to modern times. Nothing exists for them other than a preoccupation which swallows them up completely, leaving no place for that silence where the voice of God may be heard.
And yet, however paradoxical it may seem, in spite of today’s noise and confusion, it is still possible to hear the mysterious call of God in our hearts. This call may not always be understood as the voice of God. It may strike us as a feeling of dissatisfaction or of inner unease, or as the beginning of a search. For many, it is only after the passing of years that they realize their life was incomplete and inadequate because it was without God. ‘You have made us for Yourself’, says St Augustine, ‘and our hearts are restless until they rest in You’. Without God there can never be fulness of being. It is therefore crucially important for us to be able to hear and to respond to the voice of God at the very moment when God is speaking, and not years later. If someone identifies and responds to the call of God, this may change and transfigure his or her whole life.
From ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev