Father Chuck Files: Listening to God

Two men are having a conversation over coffee. One said: “I’m concerned about my wife. She talks to herself a lot these days.” The other man chimes in, “Mine does too, but she doesn’t know it, she thinks I’m listening.”

I listen when Donna speaks as she is a wise woman. We all need to pay closer attention when others speak. I remember my mother telling me when I was very young, “God gave you two ears and only one mouth, so you would listen twice as much as you speak.” Maybe you got the same sage advice.

Yet, it’s easier said than done. Even while I’m writing this the TV news is playing in the other room and in fact it’s hard to escape the voices that surround us. The answering machine next to me is blinking with a reminder of a voice needing attention. Then there’s the birthday card I bought yesterday with a voice greeting. Silence is a rare commodity.

Many years ago Soren Kierkegaard suggested that one of the remedy’s for the world’s ills was silence. Kierkegaard claimed that even when the Word of God was proclaimed it would not be heard or heeded because of all the noise and the busyness of the world.

The picture and the caption above address why listening and hearing are so important. Faith comes from what is heard and comes through God’s Word. Our witness to those we meet along The Way should stress listening as well as visioning.

The challenges of the 21st century require both a listening ear as well as a sense of envisioning a way forward. Listening before we speak, if you will. Every morning I get up at 4:30 a.m. and listen to what God would have me do today. I enjoy the peace and quiet and throughout this time God speaks. Sometimes quietly and at other times like a blast out of the loudspeaker.

Scripture at times addresses this by saying “You that have ears, listen.” Make time this Lenten Season to listen to God and you will hear that you are loved.


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