I always enjoyed my visits to my elderly Auntie Gertie who lived in a small cottage under the shadow of the Malvern Hills. She tended a wonderful and fruitful vegetable garden. She also had a wonderful gift of listening. I felt that she really listened our conversations together. She listened in a way that seemed to encourage me to talk and share. For me she was someone who had a listening heart.
I thought of her today when listening to the first reading from the prophet Jeremiah at Mass. God is complaining to Jeremiah that his people did not listen, they did not pay attention; “You may say all these words to them: they will not listen to you; you may call them: they will not answer. So tell them this , “Here is the nation that will not listen to the voice of the Lord its God nor take correction.” Our response to the psalm is; “O that today you would listen to his voice harden not you hearts.”
I suggest that today we can pray for a listening heart especially as we journey to Easter. A listening heart requires time and patience. It means finding time for quiet in our busy life.
“A listening heart knows how to be sensitive to God’s presence. It is built on a basic trust in God’s faithfulness and to his willingness to communicate himself: it is indeed possible to seek and find what is God’s project for me.” (Paul Pace SJ)
Lord give me the grace to grow a listening heart.