Hearing God’s voice at evensong


March 14 / First Thursday of Lent


On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.~ Ps 138:3

Many years ago, when I was a graduate student in a venerable British university, I would wander into my college’s cathedral for evensong. With candles flickering against the damp dark of the declining day, the boys’ and men’s choir sang the psalm verses antiphonally. One side issued the call from the carved choir stall on the left: “O Sing unto the Lord a new song.” From their robed counterparts across the aisle, an immediate response: “for he hath done marvelous things.” The first group begins the thought: “With his own right hand, and with his holy arm.“ The second group finishes it: “hath he gotten himself the victory.” (Perhaps our divided government might try some antiphonal singing). For me, the connectedness and the reliability of this antiphonal dance mirror the intimacy and reliability of our relationship with God. Underlying all our prayers, whether they are prayers of petition, intercession, contrition or thanksgiving, is the sure and certain knowledge that God loves us and will answer our call. This does not necessarily mean that our specific wishes will be granted, but it does mean that God hears us and will respond at the time and in the manner of his choosing. Or as the 19th-century theologian and scholar John Henry Newman prayed, “God leads us by strange ways; we know He wills our happiness, but we neither know what our happiness is, nor the way. We are blind; left to ourselves we should take the wrong way; we must leave it to Him.” The answer may not always be what we are looking for, but God’s response to our call, if we allow it, will strengthen our souls and fortify our hearts.

All-hearing and all-loving Lord, give me implicit and abiding trust that you will answer me on the day I call.Amen.

For today’s readings, click here.
To hear the Westminster Abbey choir chanting Ps 138 during the 2010 visit of the Pope, click here.

[Editors’ note: This is part of a daily Lenten reflection series. Sign up for our America Today newsletter to receive each reflection every day in your inbox.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Benjamin Elder
5 months 2 weeks ago

India is most famous country for sex assault with the capital dehli being famous by the name of rape city. India is too much crowded and dirty as compared to different countries they hide their ugliness and come up on front with some of beauty. I read a news about the india that a man masturbated in front of a girl on a train like com'n where's humanity now?. The topics for argumentative essay says that Following the trend and fashions of america still India is waded towards disaster. They have to stop and control it. They have good relations with just america.

Donna Zuroweste
5 months 1 week ago

You can also download the Dominican Compline app and do it nightly...

[Editors’ note: This is part of a daily Lenten reflection series. Sign up for our America Today newsletter to receive each reflection every day in your inbox.]

More: Lent / Prayer

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019