With the rise of the internet, the multiplicity of voices making claim and counter claim can be confusing for people who are searching after God. But this is not new. In the fourth century there were many voices talking about Christianity, and the claims and counter claims were a hot topic for many ordinary people. So I imagine that Augustine, being such a great orator, attracted many people to his congregation in Hippo. But rather than bask in that glory, Augustine had a warning for his listeners. He told them that as preachers,
we can admonish by the sound of our voice, but if there be not One within that shall teach, vain is the noise we make.
“The One within” who teaches us is the Spirit of God, so that the voice of our heart and the voice of God become one. Later in the same homily, speaking of the gaze of God’s Spirit, Augustine says, our
witness is that eye which penetrates the heart, where others cannot look.
Again, the eye of our heart and the eye of God become one. It is by hearing with the ear of the heart, and seeing with the eye of the heart that we can have confidence in our relationship with God, ourselves, and others. May you this week, amongst the multiplicity of voices you hear, take time to be aware of “the One within,” who gently whispers in your soul and lovingly gazes upon you.
Photo by Reign Abarintos on Unsplash
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