MOSAIC Spring 2015 - Page 21

“I WILL GIVE YOU SHEPHERDS” Forming Priests for the New Evangelization How to Hear the Shepherd’s Voice Fr. John Vandenakker, CC T hose called to the priesthood of Jesus are called to be shepherds, in the image of Christ the Good Shepherd. But becoming a shepherd of God’s people does not mean one stops being a sheep oneself. In fact, if one does not know how to be a good sheep (disciple of the Lord), then one will not know how to be a good shepherd. And it all starts with the ability to listen and hear the “voice” of the Lord. The ability to “recognize” the voice of the Lord is something that all Christians must learn. It is not innate. Just as Eli taught young Samuel in the temple at Shiloh how to respond when Yahweh called to him in the night—“Speak Lord, your servant is listening” (cf. 1 Sm 3:9)—so, too, all disciples must learn how to properly discern what it is the Lord is trying to tell them through prayer and the circumstances of life. We know that most of what constitutes God’s will for us has already been revealed in Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and taught by the Magisterium. As Jesus said to the rich young man, “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). But there is much more to being a disciple of the Lord than simply “keeping” commandments. God wants to daily give us the grace and power we need for Christian living and communicate his “Now” word to us, for the sake of our own sanctification and that of the world. In order to really “hear” what it is the Lord wants to communicate to us (i.e., how he wants to lead us), whether per- sonally or corporately, we must be rooted he wants to lead it! The same goes for in prayer. Prayer can take many different parish communities that priests will one forms—contemplation, worsh