The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
It is hard to find silence in our noisy world, but it’s even more difficult to find it within ourselves. Many interior voices compete for our attention; none lead us to the place for which our weary hearts yearn, except the voice of the Good Shepherd. Although Jesus speaks in different ways, through different circumstances and events, and most especially through Sacred Scripture, His voice is best heard when we are silent.
Mother Teresa was very good at practicing interior silence. When she visited Boston, she offered small cards, much like business cards, to the people who came to visit her. Surprisingly, the cards didn’t have her address or phone number, but instead, the following words:
The fruit of silence is Prayer.
The fruit of prayer is Love.
The fruit of love is Service.
The fruit of service is Peace.
Mother Teresa, a woman of peace, was attentive to the voice of the Good Shepherd because she cultivated interior silence in the middle of her busy day and in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus speaks to us in the silence of our hearts, especially in front of His real presence in the Blessed Sacrament; but we need to learn to enter that interior silence without fear, or we’ll miss His voice and dangerously follow the voice of others.
I once heard the voice of the Good Shepherd when I was a little girl. It was at school during our 15‑minute silent visit to the Lord in the chapel. I was totally taken by the beauty of everything surrounding the Tabernacle: the flowers, the delicate white veil covering it, the white altar cloth, the crucifix… I experienced much peace and a quiet joy at being with my loving God. I wanted to be there forever… always close to Him… close to the Tabernacle. I knew then that the Good Shepherd would always lead me to the still waters of peace. I lacked nothing in that moment.
It is in the context of silence and being in the presence of God that allow our hearts to be easily opened to God’s grace and to hear and recognize His voice. It is from a deep encounter with the One who loves us and who gave His life for us, that we realize we are protected, forgiven, and immensely loved just the way we are. Let us trust Him and follow in His footsteps. He will lead us to the healing waters of love flowing from His pierced Heart and gently guide us to everlasting life.
The Good Shepherd is also the Lamb of God, offered in sacrifice for our salvation. Through His wounds we were healed. Just like a lamb trusting its shepherd, Jesus trusted His Father even in the crucible of total desolation on the Cross. In the same way, He asks us to trust Him and follow Him, in meekness and humility, when we are in the middle of difficult circumstances. Nothing is more convincing to the world than such living examples. This is how our lives, and even our wounds, become sources of healing and peace for others.
I had the privilege of witnessing Christina, a little lamb who lived by faith and trust in the Good Shepherd. She confidently repeated: “Jesus, I trust in you” in the crucible of her calvary. She followed Jesus so closely that through her suffering many received inner healing and had their faith restored. May our wounds too, united to Christ’s, be sources of peace, healing, restoration, and hope for others; and may we all, today and in eternity, graze in the verdant meadows of Christ’s abundant life and drink from the restful waters of His love made visible in the Holy Eucharist.
Jesus, Shepherd and Lamb, I trust in you.
Please offer a rosary today for all priests, especially your own pastors. They are “Alter Christus” from whose hands we receive the Good Shepherd as food for our souls; and please also pray today for vocations to the sacred priesthood. You’ll be doing good for the whole world!
Sister Marta was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua. Early in life she experienced an earthquake which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed her hometown. Later, political unrest, Communism, and persecution, especially of young people, caused her to migrate alone to the USA where she met new challenges. After a family tragedy and deeply affected by these adversities, Sister Marta began an inner search for answers to the mystery of life, suffering, truth, and the deepest yearnings of the human heart. She found the answer in Christ. By Divine Providence she met (and joined) the Secular Franciscans in Fresno, California, in 1994, and later, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master where she discovered, with joy, an undeserved call to the consecrated life. Although a late vocation, she was admitted to the Congregation in 2000. Today, Sister Marta serves the Lord and His Church through her ministry at the Archdiocese of Boston.