By Sister Ruth Ann Haunz, OSU

In a Face Time visit with my niece, she shared her frustration with her 3-year-old daughter, Ellie. “She doesn’t listen,” she exclaimed. In response to her dad’s attempt to talk to her about her aversion to listening to her parents, she declared that her batteries were dead! She just could not hear. In further conversation, she admitted that her imaginary batteries were turned off.

Ellie’s story urged me to recall Mary’s deep listening to the angel Gabriel and her trust in God’s voice experienced in Gabriel’s’ words. Mary also trusted God’s voice in her cousin, Elizabeth, and in Joseph, her husband. In every life experience, she recognized God’s voice and presence. Her ear batteries, more appropriately her heart batteries, were fully charged.

Ellie has yet to learn about keeping her imaginary batteries charged. What about us? How much charge is in our batteries? Are we listening for God’s voice in our life experiences, in the COVID-affected world, in family members who are ill, in the cries from Ukraine? Perhaps God’s invitation in Lent 2022 is to recharge our heart batteries and contemplatively listen for God’s voice in the refugee, the suffering poor, the lonely aged, the racist. God’s voice is in every encounter.

Mary was incredibly surprised by the angel’s message. Will our attempt to genuinely listen for God’s voice in our life events inform our hearts? Let’s check our batteries for their heart-charge and be attentive to the surprises we may hear. Maybe we will be as surprised as Mary was with the unimaginable virgin birth.


Artwork by