Listening to, believing, and obeying God's voice.
From LESSONS ON THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE ROMANS (pp. 81-85)
February 1, 1948. See: To the Romans Chapter 4.
The most holy Author says:
"Abraham was the father of all believers, that is, of those who for their justice not only merit to hear the spiritual and most holy Voice of God resonating in their spirits, but who know how to comprehend the words of this ineffable Voice and to believe and obey it and its commands.
There was not, there is not, and there will not be a creature who in a sole and fleeting moment, or for more than once and at length, does not hear this Voice resonating within himself. It is the mysterious call of the One and Only Lord, of the universal Creator. Like a ray of light, like a sound wave, He comes and penetrates, sometimes sweetly, at other times severely, and other times terribly.
It is not necessary that a man be in the elect Religion in order to have this call. God is the Creator of the children of His people just like the savage who does not know His most holy Name and His call, as it resonates in the Catholic churches, in the Catholic and civil nations, and in those civil and non-Catholic (nations) and amongst the peoples of other revealed religions; this is how He fills the wild and cold solitudes with His Self, the still unexplored zones, the remote islands, the archipelagoes where man is at a level almost similar to that of the wild beasts--made of instincts, and often, of uncontrolled instincts--the still hot, matted and virginal forests where civilization has not brought its progress and subtle corruption. God speaks everywhere. Because God is the Creator of every man.
Many times, however, man and not only the uncivilized man, mistakens the mysterious call of God, especially if the call is a reproach, with the voice of his own consciousness, with the remorse that cries in the depths of the I. Sometimes, and especially at the beginning of times, the guilty person knew how to distinguish the voice of God from that of the I troubled by remorse. Cain is an expample of these guilty ones who know how to distinguish. However, more and more, with the unfolding of the centuries, the ability of man to comprehend and distinguish--I am speaking of man with a wicked heart--has darkened, for like a solid wall which blocks the voice and light, the negation of a God has risen, the scorn for God has taken root in man.
The "superman" self-creating himself as thus is a monster, a deformity of man, he is the bastard who has come from the union of human reason created by God and a rebel to God, with the Enemy of God. Cut off from God through his own will, the man of the century, that is, the one who has created himself according to human-satanic doctrines, cannot and does not want to understand the call of God. Lacking in him is every pre-requisite to do so. Even if he has the name of a Catholic; more still, even if he is practicing; more still, even if he clothes himself in a sacred garment, with difficulty does he distinguish the voice of God as such.
Too many things are also in those who, because of the garment and the mission and the state of grace, should be most sensible to the call of God and to the comprehension of the words of God, so that they can comprehend them. Their pride kills or disturbs their reason and deafens their souls. Proud reason is reasoning gone mad. Therefor, it is no longer reason. A proud spirit is an occupied altar. Therefor, it is an altar onto where the Eternal can no longer descend to tell His wishes. Others are speaking to you. With the bitter voice of concupiscence. And even if from His Highest throne God utters a call and it penetrates, it remains drowned out, as it is wanted, because to hear it and to scorn it would be too much, and so one prefers not to hear it.
However, Abraham was a man who loved the true God. His reason was not proud. He recognized God in everything. He felt himself to be His creature. He bowed his thought in reverential subjection before the Most High whose manifestation is in all of creation. His spirit was just by keeping itself pure from every type of idolatry.
And just was his body, obedient to the commands given by God to the father of men: Adam. He had married Sarah in order to be one flesh only with her and to increase and multiply the number of men on Earth, he worked the earth in order to draw nourishment, hardship was dear to him, he found it just that it should have been distressing, that his bread would have had as a condiment the salt of his perspiration, and death was just to him whose flesh would have returned into dust. Humble before the Most High, he felt himself to be "dust", a grain of dust before the Immense, the Infinite, the Most Powerful One. And as a grain of dust, he let himself be carried away by the will of the Lord without attachments to anything that would have been transitory.
Believing in God, trusting in the goodness of God and obedient to God, he had the pre-requisites in order to hear the most holy Voice of God resonating in his spirit, to comprehend its words, and to follow what these words commanded.
Paul writes, quoting the words of Scripture, "Abraham believed God and it was reputed to him unto justice." But even though Scripture says this after Abraham believed in the divine promise of a descendancy, truly, I say to you that Abraham believed in it much earlier, when he already had the certainty that from Sarah, he would not have had a descendancy, when as a refugee outside of his homeland and from his kinsfolk, he was in the least favorable conditions to believe that the Lord would have made of him "a great Nation" and that to "his progeny, God would have given that land" which was later Palestine, that land extending "to the north, south, east and west", given to him and to his future descendants, to that "progeny which God would have multiplied like the dust of the Earth".
From a seed can come a spike of grain, and from this, scattered with its grains, a hundred new spikes, and from these re-sown, a thousand, then ten thousand and a hundred thousand. However, if the first seed is missing, how can one have posterity and multiplication?
Abraham did not have the seed: an heir. From the sterile womb of Sarah, a seed of posterity did not bloom. And yet, despite everything, Abraham believed that God would have granted him an heir; nor did his faith weaken with the passing of time without the promise coming to fruition. And so he was reputed unto justice. Without keeping count of his other works, God judged him worthy of grace for his faith.
Faith is therefore the mystical circumcision, as valid and more than the material rite. God acknowledges as His servants those who believe in Him and who obey His wishes. It is pointless to have the seal on the flesh, the name in the registries, if there is no seal of subjection in you, in our heart, to the true God, and if the name is contradicted by the works. An heir was promised to Abraham for his faith. Inheritance will be given for your faith. To have the Law but not fulfill it, because there is no faith, is reason for the loss of the celestial Kingdom rather than its conquest.
And how is one able to fulfill the Law if one does not believe the truths reavealed by God? When reward and punishment, eternity, hell, paradise, resurrection of the flesh and divine judgement are scorned as fables, when doubt on the existence of God makes one neglect the Law, what does it benefit you to have and know the code of Life? What shield against foments and temptations are you left with if by not having faith you do not take care of living the Law?
The Word of God said one day, "If you have faith as much as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain or to this tree, 'Remove yourself from there and plant yourself into the sea' and you would obtain it."
However, it is this grain of faith which you require in order to tear from yourselves these foments and temptations, so as to command to these tentacles which embrace and torture you, and which at times lead you to a spiritual death, to "cast themselves into the sea" and leaving you free. It will be this very grain of faith that will make you as strong as heroes and that will be justification and forgiveness for you, even of imperfect works or falls.
One who has faith cannot perish. He who has faith has the means within himself that prevents him from irreparably offending the Father. He who has faith believes in Jesus, Son of the Father, in Jesus, Savior and Redeemer, and it is said that whoever believes in Him and in the One who sent Him will have eternal life. He who has faith believes in the Third Person, in the Love of the Love of God, in the most perfect Love that is God One and Trine, and whoever believes in the Love, loves, and whoever has God cannot experience eternal death.
Because of this, whoever has faith has the Kingdom of God. Within him, during his earthly day, the Kingdom of God within him: God King, God Friend, God Master, Light, Way, Truth, Life; in the other life, possession and beatific knowledge without end."
Written by Maria Valtorta
Copyright 2007 by Centro Editoriale Valtortiano, srl, Isola del Liri, Italy. All rights reserved in all countries.
Abraham's faith in God was so strong, that he believed that God would raise Isaac from the dead, after sacrificing him, for he said to his servants: "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there; we will worship and come back to you." Genesis 22:5. See Hebrews 11:17-19.