The Dream of Listening

by Mark Votava


  •  My neighbors are teaching me to listen

My neighbors are teaching me to listen.  I hear the sound of their voices as revelations of God to me.  Learning to hear under the anger, pain, joy or gratitude of someone’s life is what I want to base my days on.  Becoming the servant of all who cross my path in everyday life, I want to show some love by listening deeply.

  •  What will I become?

What will I become without sharing life with my neighbors?  I am learning to step away from my computer and TV screen and make room for others as I listen to what they care about.  How can I learn from them?  What do they dream about in life?

  •  Being faithfully present without saying anything

Being faithfully present without saying anything, but just listening to the mysteries of this human being in front of me is what I was created for.  This is the essence of human connection.  Listening is recreating me for the common good of the place I live.

  •  Finding God in the act of listening

I reimagine a life where I am quick to listen.  This listening will be my life.  It will lead me to beautiful places that are unknown to me.  I am finding God in the very act of listening in everyday life.

  •  Listening is a powerful expression of the work of God

Listening is a powerful expression of the work of God in the world.  I am learning to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world through listening.  There is no greater purpose in life.

  •  Without listening it is difficult to see

Without a listening spirt it is difficult for me to see.  I lose my way on the path to life.  I mistreat others and become judgmental.  I become impatient and demanding.

  •  The simple practice of listening

I pretend to have all the answers for everyone.  I become manipulative and controlling.  I live with high expectations.  But I am ready now to give it all up and learn to embrace the simple practice of listening with compassion.

  •  Listening is my dream

May listening save me from my foolishness.  Listening is my salvation.  Listening is my dream.  Listening is the lost treasure that I will find in the present moment of human connection in everyday life together.

  •  We all have the capacity to listen deeply

We have underestimated listening in our time.  I believe that listening could change our world.  Listening is creative and alive among us.  We all have the capacity to listen deeply.

  •  Created in the image of a God who listens

We are created in the image of a God who listens.  We live life most fully when we listen.  Community and human connection will be lost without listening as a way of life.  I am learning the importance of this practice in the parish.

How can we listen more and talk less in everyday life?