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?

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  1. csuhpat1 says:

    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,

    • lesliesholly says:

      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 says:

    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. Ginny Kochis says:

    What a beautiful prayer. I agree with you – we need to listen. The future of our country depends on it.

  4. Thank you for the reminder to listen! Sooo important. I notice a visible change in my relationships when I focus on listening instead of talking. Beautiful prayer!

  5. Alicia @ Sweeping Up Joy says:

    There’s a lot being said but not a lot of listening going on these days. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jessica Kong says:

    Such a great post! Thanks for sharing!

    This reminds me of a great quote:

    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

  7. Anni H. says:

    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.

  8. “Listening” has turned into something very different today, as you pointed out. We don’t do it so much with our ears as with our eyes. You make a great point.

  9. pwcamy says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen, Amen! We all need the Lord to help us listen to one another!

  10. 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!

  11. Listening improves your very thought process and makes you a better person, thanks for joining The Bloggers Pit Stop

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