“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…He goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (Jn 10.3, 4).
The Gospel of John has always been a challenge for me. From the narrative and fact-driven styles of the other Gospels, we come to St. John, the mystic, the philosopher. But I’m leaning into him. Slowly. Lectio divina style. The above verses particularly struck me, as one of my “arrow prayers” is “Draw me after you, let us make haste” (Song of Solomon 1.4). I pray this numerous times throughout the day, but especially before (sometimes during) the Rosary, Mass, the Little Office, lectio, adoration, etc.
What a comfort it is to think of Our Lord, calling me by name. I imagine Him saying my name with such love and tenderness, such affection. He calls, every day, all the time. And what do I need to do in response? Only listen so I may hear His voice and then follow Him. “Oh that today you would hearken to his voice! Harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95. 7, 8). To listen, to hear, I must quiet my own interior chatter. “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast; like a child that is quieted is my soul” (Ps. 131. 2).
Teach me, O Lord, to quiet my soul, to hear your voice and to follow.