Both the Gospel of John and the Rule of St. Benedict highlight the importance of listening:
...the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (John 10)
...Listen carefully my child to the master's instruction and attend to them with the ear of your heart. (Prologue 1)
...the sheep follow the shepherd, because they recognize his voice. (John 10)
...let us listen well to what the Lord says for he shows us the way...(Prologue 24)
There is mystery in sound and joy in the voices of the ones we love. We can discern the voice over the phone, over PA systems and most especially in our hearts. How good God is to let us discern the voice that calls us to life.
For the sheep, the shepherd's voice is life. It means safety. Without the voice, danger and death can lurk anywhere. The gate is security through the night. The gate allows the sheep to rest without fear. The gate represents boundaries...we need to know our limits. We need the security of the gate.
All of us have spent much time listening to the voice of God. We have spent years discerning God's voice and learning to trust the voices of those God has put in our lives to lead and guide us.
The practice of Lectio Divina is a practice of training our hearts to listen for God's voice in the Sacred Scriptures. The more the Scriptures become a part of our lives, the more the music of the Word dances in our heart and encourages us to follow the Shepherd.
The Gospel of John begins with the great Prologue that says: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Let the Word dwell among us, become flesh and bring us the abundant life the Gospel offers.