Why is God silent in a time in which the world needs His direction the most? We see throughout the Old Testament God communicating with His people, and through the NT with Christ on Earth, and visions after he departed this world.
Why is God silent? I often feel as if I’m talking to myself and no one is listening when I pray.
You should read Mother Theresa’s writings during her “Dark Night of the Soul” (what it sounds like you are experiencing).
We don’t know why God does not chose to act directly, and we won’t know until we get to ask Him face to face. My personal view on the matter has two main reasons:
#1: Direct action negates faith. We are asked to have faith in the Lord, not to Know as the world desires to know, so direct intervention would negate what God asks of us.
#2: He does not act because He expects us to act. God desires that we help those around us, respond to troubles, and work together to build the body of Christ. If God were to always intervene, He’d be robbing us of the opportunity to grow in love for Him and for each other, effectively stunting our spiritual growth.
Many people only finally find God when they’re at their lowest, while people who experience no trials or tribulations very frequently ignore God. For evidence of this, look at the decadence of our own society. In those circles where there is very little direct need we find an absence of love for the Lord. If, however, we turn to those places in the world where need is abundant, we find deep devotion and love for Him in spite of all the hardship and want. It seems that without hardship, many people would never turn to God in their need, potentially causing many more souls to be lost.
Having said all this, I would also like to say that God does act directly in the world. Look at the history of miracles in the Church; the healings, Eucharistic Miracles, mystic experiences of the Saints… There is so much evidence of God’s active participation in our joys and our sufferings that I can scarce believe anyone is an atheist. The miracles of Lourdes alone are like a gift which continues to grow in abundance and impact as time progresses…
He’s not silent, people just aren’t paying attention to Him. God is still speaking to us via the OT and NT. Perhaps the pain and suffering in this world is precisely the voice of God that we need right now, if people would only turn to Him.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Yes. He also speaks to us in how we practice our faith. It isn’t all inner voices and obvious direction like that given to Abraham and Moses. If we are faithfully doing what we are supposed to be doing where we are–attending Mass, praying, reading Scripture, aiding others in their need, being a light before others, growing in virtue, God’s voice is speaking to us in these things.
Unfortunately, a good part of the Christian world is either apostate or lax–and at a time when we ought to practice our faith all the more fervently. This is on our heads because we are Christ’s witnesses in the world, as we are members of his body, the Church. But, the world doesn’t want to listen to the Church–it wants to go its own way–and we see the results. Our present state of chaos came about through our divisions and laxity in the faith. Jesus predicted this on his way to Calvary when he lamented: “If they do these things in the green wood, what will they do in the case of the dry?” (Lk. 23:31)
Isaiah 41:10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Do not fear: I am with you;
do not be anxious: I am your God.
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
This is what God tells us. He is always there. In order to hear God, you must have a relationship with Him. Do you set aside time daily to worship and pray to him? You can read all about him books, but that is not having a relationship with Him. You can go to Mass every Sunday, but is that enough time in an entire week to build a relationship with Him?
Choose a designated daily time for prayer and worship.
Choose the amount of time you will spend with him.
Choose a regular location. In private away from everything that makes noise. You will never hear Him speak to you amidst the noise.
Begin with The Lord’s Prayer, and follow this pattern.
A - Adoration - praising God for who He is. Songs, Scripture, your own personal feelings of who He is to you.
C - Confession - all we’ve done wrong and all that we should have done but didn’t. Asking for forgiveness. I use Psalm 51, it’s beautiful. Give Him your heart. Ask Him to take out anything that is not of Him
T - Thanksgiving - thanking Him for everything.
S - Supplication - asking Him for our daily needs, personally, for country, for family, etc… Also pray for your enemies. Tell Him you need Him, that you are lost without Him.
The more time you spend with Him in prayer and reading The Word, which is Jesus made flesh, your life will be transformed. The more time you put into Him, the more you will receive from Him.
He has transformed my life and I am 100% certain that He will transform yours.
God Bless You.
I’m not persuaded God is silent. Besides the bible and the Church, the testimony of saints, apparitions and so on, I wonder about the following.
Are there very obvious messages we don’t choose to see as messages? I, for one, am simply awe-struck by some of the determinations and theories of astrophysics and even lesser manifestations in the material world. Do those things tell us nothing at all about God? Is He telling us nothing when we seem to discover things telling us that such a small thing as a beetle traveling from one blade of grass to another was decreed from all eternity as part of an overarching plan that we can delve into but can’t possibly understand in full?
There have been various times in my life when I asked for guidance, sometimes in mundane things, and shortly thereafter the answers just fell into my mind like so many plums dropping from a tree without my having any conscious agency in them. Was that all just totally subconscious problem-solving that suddenly entered into consciousness, or was it something else?
If, as we believe, guardian angels are able to communicate with us in subtle ways, is God somehow prohibited from doing it?
I love your wording in all of this. So simple, yet with so much meaning. On #2, I use this same form (Lectio Divina) when I read Scripture and my understanding of Scripture comes in this same way. I call it divine intervention. Sometimes the answers are quick and other times not so quick. All in His time. I once spoke with my Priest about this and to sum it up he stated, “It’s not like you can say, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Coincidence.” It is real. On #3. God will absolutely communicate with us. I have heard His audible voice only twice in 30 years. The rest of the time as you have described (I call it “still small voice”) above. I do believe He is quiet at times and for good reasons. But He tells us He is with us always. We must show Him through our faith that we trust in Him regardless of whether we hear His voice or not. As Jesus states in John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Our God is an awesome God.