Lenten Reflections

Week 2 – Repentance: Changing my mind

“Repent” has been given a bum rap—the word “repent” doesn’t come from Latin roots (paenitere – to feel sorry). Repent has Greek roots and comes from metanoia—to change perspective, to change world view.

 


When do I not listen to others?


This is what you really mean when you say ‘I’m busy’

‘It’s a common misconception that appearing to be busy — even if you’re not — is a signal that you’re valuable, whether it’s to your boss, your colleagues, your family or your friends. And there might have been a time when that was true — until it became an unthinking, default response.
‘But what people really hear is something vastly different. It’s as if you are asking to be judged on how busy you seem, not how productive you really are, explains Ed Baldwin, a Denver, Colorado-based human resources strategist and consultant. The real message you’re sending, he adds, is “I’m not very good at prioritising my time” and, at the moment, you’re not a priority at all.’
Lennox Morrison, 22 February 2017

 


No one likes to be ignored or have their words disregarded.  When it happens to us it is frustrating.  But when we are ignoring someone else it is likely because the other things we have to do are much more important.  We have put ourselves into Lewis’s Inner Ring.  But Jesus never lived there, and we can tell that by how he listened.  Even the most unimportant received his listening ear—even the woman at the well, who was both female and Samaritan.  Jesus broke gender, cultural and religious barriers by listening to her and discussing her ideas.
Pick someone today that you don’t like listening to—especially if it is someone who can’t get anyone to listen to them.  Give them 5 uninterrupted moments of time, and listen.  Get into practice daily by listening to others, because then you will be in training to hear God’s still, small voice.
“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends:  Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.  God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger.  So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.  In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.  Act on what you hear!  Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.”
—James 1:19-24 (Message)

 


Teach Me, Lord,  to Listen

Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, “Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”
Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen.  Amen.
John Veltri, S.J.