Can We Learn to Listen?

Flipping through the monthly missalette to pass the time, back in the days when I was a child and Mass seemed to last forever, I’d sing the songs in my head and read the prayers on the back.  One prayer struck me so much that I committed it to memory.

I haven’t thought of it much in recent years but it came to me suddenly today–perhaps through the prompting of the Holy Spirit?  It’s a prayer we could all use in these troubled times.

prayer-to-be-a-better-listenerwe-do-not-really-listen-to-each-other-god-at-least-not-all-the-time-instead-of-true-dialogue-we-carry-on-two-parallel-monologues-i-talk-my-companion-talks-but-what

When I think of conversations nowadays online interactions come to mind.  Much of our discourse on important matters is virtual now.  We listen with our eyes and minds and not our ears as we read the posts and comments and articles in our feeds.  But don’t we still fall prey to the same errors the prayer mentions?  Haven’t we all read something too quickly and made uncharitable assumptions in our rush to respond?  Have we thought about the feelings of the person reading our witty, snarky comebacks?  Are we listening and trying to learn or simply planning our next salvo?  Are we having conversations–exchanges of ideas–or are we fighting battles with words as our weapons?

God comes to us through the souls we encounter–this we know.  And they encounter Him through us.  Are we allowing ourselves to be channels of His peace, or of something else?

For my part, I am going to say this prayer every morning before I fire up Facebook.  Will you join me?

16 thoughts on “Can We Learn to Listen?

  1. I always try to remember the words that Rocky Balboa spoke in Creed (My friend’s son wrote and directed it) and it is powerful, ” As long as you are talking, you are not listening.”

    I have saved the prayer, Thanks,

    1. Please tell your friend and/or his son how much I loved that movie! I am a huge Rocky fan from way back and I thought Creed was perfect. What a great quotation. Rocky turned out to be pretty wise. 🙂

  2. mrsandy508

    Thank you for sharing this prayer and the reminder to listen! It’s something I could really work on.. especially when it comes to my prayer life. <3

  3. This is such a beautiful prayer, and definitely not in the Missalette in the pew at church! But, makes me want to find mine and see if it’s in the back. If not, now I know where to find it. Thank you for sharing the prayer, and your thoughts – very fitting in today’s climate.

  4. Honestly, I try to stay out of Facebook arguments, but this is a great reminder in every day life as well. I’ve actually been working on being fully there and present to the other person in a conversation, but it can still be so easy to forget…. especially when that other person is one of my children and I’m busy doing something. Thank you for the reminder!

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