What Happens When the Deaf Can Hear?

What Happens When the Deaf Can Hear?


Have you seen the viral video showing people hearing for the first time?

Someone reposted it so I watched it again, and it is such a tear-jerker. Give it a watch here:


It’s so powerful to see their reactions, eh? You have a sense of what they felt to finally have access to the world everyone else was experiencing. They hear the voices of loved ones for the first time and are overwhelmed.

So beautiful!

This brings to mind something else for me, having access to a whole new world. It makes me think of when you first really encounter Jesus.

When Saul became Paul he described things like scales falling from his eyes. After a period of blindness, then he could finally see. This is such an apt metaphor for what it means to receive faith. Everything looks different. And seeing it for the first time can bring us to tears.

I experienced something like this when I had my adult conversion at 24. I had been in a place of longing, unsure really what my life was about. But I had a profound religious experience that touched all the areas of my life. It gave me a whole new experience of life, a new horizon.

And I became a part of a community who had access to this invisible world.

Have you been introduced to this world? I hope so! If so, praise God, because you have experienced something precious that not everyone has.

But so many have not experienced this, and this should rightly trouble our consciences, as Pope Francis says in Evangelii Gaudium (49).

So I believe there are 2 responses we should all have to experiencing this new world:

1. We must share it with others

We evangelize when we want everyone else to experience this new world for the first time. This is why evangelization is truly an act of charity.

I have written at length about this topic on the site (like here) so I will just say here: when you feel timid about sharing Jesus with others, think of the responses of the people in the video. I have seen responses like this many times when people meet Christ! Including in myself.

2. We must dwell in it ourselves

Jesus said: "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

The heart of my New Year’s resolution is to engage in more conversation with “the invisible world of God” and to listen more with the ears of the heart. This is really the resolution I have at every retreat and every conference I go to. This year at CCO Rise Up it even came to me in my sleep.

So again I climb up on the horse, getting up a little earlier to spend those first groggy moments in the most important conversation of my life.

If you’ve fallen into a rut in personal prayer, I encourage you to join me. Read this fascinating and easy to read article by Fr. John Hardon, and set your alarm a little earlier for tomorrow morning.

For those who have encountered the new world, seeing and hearing with faith, may we be faithful to it. And may we in turn work doggedly to ensure others can come into this world. (The first is key to the second.)

May we have ears to hear, and may the scales fall from our eyes as well. Jesus is the merciful Saviour. May we encounter him again and again every day.

This is the light of life.

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