Pope Francis has written and spoken eloquently about “listening with the ear of one’s heart.” He urges us to listen with compassion and love, to see the plight of the poor, the desperation of the displaced, the hopelessness of the immigrant, the hungry child, and even hear the cry of the Earth.
The lack of authentic listening and dialogue is at the heart of the many global conflicts, our country’s political and ecclesial divisions, and our families’ conflicts. Daily, I hear the plea for reconciliation in our families, the end of wars, bridging our divides, etc., at the Prayer of the Faithful.
Where does it start? Within our own hearts. Prayer – like the Alleluia verse for today. The development of better listening skills. (David Brooks has written an amazing new book entitled How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. He urges us to learn how to ask better questions that invite the other to tell a bit of their story, rather than “top” what they say with a story of one’s own, ask additional questions that allow the person to amplify or add to the story they are telling.)
If there ever was a better listener, it was Jesus. He listened from the depths of his being and heard the various cries for healing; he patiently listened to the questions, doubts, and fears of his disciples (and ours); he even listened to the plea of the thief crucified with him.
Opening our hearts to hear God’s word, especially as it comes to us from the various persons in our daily exchanges, can only happen when we decide to listen – as Pope Francis has said – with the ear of one’s heart.
Happy listening today!
Let Us Pray:
Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.