I hear voices,

Many, many voices,

Outside, inside, my head, my heart,

Static that distracts me from listening.

I know you hear me,

Like a mother recognizes

The sound of her baby’s cry

Amidst a thousand other screams.

Attune my soul to the sound of your voice.

I’m tired of wandering,

Searching for a serenity,

The eternal life only you can give.

I have known the long loneliness of the lost.

I yearn to learn to discern

The voice of the One Shepherd

From the seductive voice of the great pretender

Whose alluring lies promise much but steal all,

Deceiving me as it leads me from the safety of your hand.

— J. Michael Sparough, SJ is a retreat director, spiritual director,

playwright, and poet at the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House, Barrington, IL.