Careful Listening

St. Benedict begins the Prologue to his rule with the words ‘listen carefully,’ I have read the prologue countless times and, for some reason, perhaps a lack of care, have focused solely on the word listen. But, to listen without care is, maybe, not to listen at all?

Care, kairos, is a virtue. Listening carefully means to pay attention, not simply to the words themselves but to the person speaking. Careful listening means paying full attention, and listening with the ear of the heart, not just the ears and the brain. Careful listening also means paying attention to one’s own responses and, reflecting on them. Careful listening implies openness and, an acceptance that our initial, gut, responses may be wrong. Careful listening respects the other and nurtures ourselves. Careful listening has the potential to truly transform.

This year can I take the time to listen carefully?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s