Someone once said: “There is a reason why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. The person who discovers the reason for this will often become a compassionate person.” Using our ears twice as much as our mouths could well provide us with the opportunity to learn how to listen to another’s story not only with our ears, but also with our hearts. Listening with one’s heart describes a compassionate person. To hear another, we must be very still and open to the other. Listening is hard work. Full listening demands an openness to communication through our eyes as well as our ears. What do we do without mouths? Hopefully, when we respond to another from our heart, we will always weigh our words carefully, keeping them simple, compassionate and caring so we won’t have to eat them later. Let us be still and compassionate listeners this Advent season.
by Joyce Iten, OSB