Listening to each other is really important during our Corona Virus pandemic. For example, we can call each other and listen on the phone. It's really helpful when we are all cooped up in our homes to listen to each other. The times are stressful now and it's easy to get frustrated with each other. I thought this article on listening by The Rev. Dr. Jennie Clarkson Olbryc, a retired Episcopal priest from Charleston, SC, might be helpful to you, as it was to me.
Blessings and love,
When St. Benedict set pen to paper in the sixth century and composed his simple rule for beginning monks, the very first word he wrote was "Obsculta," which means, "listen." Benedict invited them and us to "listen with the ear of the heart." That is, to listen from the center of our being and as an act of love. Paul Tillich,* writing fourteen centuries later touched on the same thing when he said, that "the first duty of love is to listen." Can we say, then, listening
and loving the other are deeply connected. When someone has listened deeply and faithfully to us, our trust in them grows, as we come to know they are truly present to, and with us. In the bond of trust, the foundation of love is laid, for we cannot love what we do not trust, but attachment is no guarantee of genuine, life-giving love. Listening not only builds the foundation of love, it makes relationship possible, not only between people, but also between ourselves and God.
* The Rev. Dr. Paul Tillich, German American Lutheran Protestant Theologian. (1886 - 1965). He served on the faculties of the The Union Theological Seminary ( Episcopal ), and The Harvard Divinity School after emigrating to the United States. He is most well-known for his 3 volume work titled, "Systematic Theology."
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