It’s never too late to start!!! Follow along in our Lenten Mission series: The Best Lent Ever Program through Dynamic Catholic (dynamiccatholic.com) as well as reading one chapter a day of ‘Resisting Happiness’ by Matthew Kelly. With these resources by our side, we can take a major stand against resistance in our journey of making this the Best Lent Ever.
In chapter 20 of ‘Resisting Happiness’, Matthew Kelly talks about the importance of learning how to listen. I’ve really learned that this point is especially important in my life in general, which has greatly enhanced my relationship with Jesus. I heard a quote from one of my favorite college professors who said: Do you listen with the intent of responding? Or do you authentically listen? …think about that for a few minutes, or when you’re talking with a good friend. Do you find yourself coming up with a reply while the other person is talking? When you do that, are you actually listening?
I’ve found that when I listen with the intent of responding, I often miss about half of what the person actually said (which often includes their main point!). However, when I truly listen, I often find myself needing a bit of time in silence before I speak. For some people, silence is an issue! It can be seen as negative, judgmental etc… (you’d be surprised!). My main point all of all of this is that truly listening is very challenging. A lot more challenging than we realize.
Although this professor’s quote was my favorite, the Interviewing Techniques class (on the road to counseling) was about breaking the learned habit of listening by replying. I have to tell you: it was REALLY hard. I messed up, a lot. However, after those struggles, I’ve been able to be present to friends and family in need of a conversation. These listening skills are invaluable, and I’m especially thankful for that class and these skills.
Kelly says in this chapter,
“Listen to those you love. Listen to your body. Listen to your conscience and soul. Listen to God.”
When you are able to truly listen physically, emotionally, spiritually, your life will radically change. Ultimately, God calls us to build a listening heart as well, to seek him in the present moment and receive the blessings He provides.
Are you truly listening? Is resistance getting in your way of listening to God, or your loved ones? Is your busy schedule getting in the way of listening to our loved ones in need? Lent is a great time for conversion. Is God calling you to a conversion in listening?