The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light. In this way we allow the birth of a new synthesis that springs from a life inspired by the Spirit.

Nonetheless, it is possible that even in prayer itself we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen to the Lord and to others and to reality itself which always challenges us in new ways.

Only if we are prepared to listen do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way we become truly open
to accepting a call that can shatter our security but lead us to a better life.