In this episode of Pop-Up Prayer, our guest is Fr. Brice Higginbotham, a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana who is currently pursuing a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He is also the author of Remaining with Jesus: Discipleship in the Gospel of John. Fr. Brice shares his thoughts about listening for God’s voice in the silence and pre-disposing ourselves to prayer.
In the First Book of Kings, we read an interesting story about how God makes himself known to us. The prophet Elijah is told to go out on a mountain and wait for the Lord to pass by. A mighty wind passes by, “but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was […]
When I was in high school, I remember being told by a Jesuit priest (one of my teachers) to listen for God in the silence. This was no easy task. First of all, it was not easy for me to find a quiet place in a home that I shared with my eight siblings! Second, when I did find some silence, I never heard God speaking to me. When I related this to the priest, […]
“Be still, and know that I am God.” —Psalm 46:10 This Scripture passage is the favorite of many, because it is so direct and so true. We all need to be reminded that God is God and we are not. And stillness helps us to recognize this truth. In fact, being still is a necessary part of spiritual renewal. Think of it this way. Have you ever come across a spiritual tradition that has not […]
The Scriptures remind us that the voice of God often comes in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:11–13). Practice listening for God’s voice, and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to your group of Confirmation candidates, catechists, or other adults through a prayer service composed by Julianne Stanz. The prayer is inspired by Shhh…God Is in the Silence by Fiona Basile. A copy of the book is needed for the prayer service readings.
We live in a culture that idealizes extroverts. As a society, we too often tend to equate success, not only with money, but also with the person who can talk the loudest and fastest. We live in a culture of personality. Unfortunately (and this is a pet peeve of mine), the same is often true in our Church: we too often equate discipleship with the ability to talk loud, fast, and convincingly about our faith in […]
In today’s Pop-Up Catechesis episode, we explore the value of spending some time in quiet. During this time of sheltering-at-home, the isolation we are experiencing may tempt us to surround ourselves with noise and stimulation. And while it is good to be engaged in activity, let’s not lose sight of the fact that this is an opportunity to cultivate the practice of encountering God’s presence in the quiet. It is especially important for us to […]
In my years of experience as a catechist, I have always sought to provide those I teach with experiences of silence which, according to St. John of the Cross, and, more recently, Fr. Thomas Keating, is God’s “primary language.” At first, the young people are often uncomfortable with silence, because they experience so little of it in our society. Gradually, however, with some coaching, they can learn to view silence, not just as empty space, but as […]
As we celebrate the Lord’s Ascension, just about all of us have moved into the more peaceful period between the end of the religious education year and the start of Vacation Bible School. When I worked in a parish, I savored each and every one of those days, and as I was praying, I turned to St. Luke’s version of the Ascension story (Luke 24:50–53). What struck me in those few verses is that Jesus’ […]
The topic of silence has come up a few times in discussions with my seventh graders, and every time it does, the young people make it obvious by their facial expressions and comments that the idea of silence isn’t one they embrace. That’s not surprising, given the fact that they get so few opportunities to practice silence in our contemporary world. But I know that silence can lead to beautiful moments of prayer and can […]