A Spirituality of Listening
In Laudato Si’ (226), Pope Francis writes of an attitude of attentiveness or deep listening.
We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full. Jesus taught us this attitude when he invited us to contemplate the lilies of the field and the birds of the air, or when seeing the rich young man and knowing his restlessness, “he looked at him with love” (Mk 10:21). He was completely present to everyone and to everything, and in this way he showed us the way to overcome that unhealthy anxiety which makes us superficial, aggressive and compulsive consumers.
Ron Rolheiser OMI, On Being Perpetually Distracted This article looks at the need to listen in our distractable world.
Benedictine Insights into listening and attentiveness
Catholic, Benedictine Values in an Educational Environment by John Klassen, OSB; Emmanuel Renner, OSB and Mary Reuter, OSB
Listening carefully yields a more accurate understanding of self and the world around us. Mindfulness means being truly present in the moment, understanding or intuiting what needs to be said or done; not said nor done. We may be called to listen in situations such as these: the chemistry student struggling to recrystallize an unknown compound; the chorus of birds waking in the early morning; the developing tension in shoulders needing some stretching; a professor trying to discover a way to motivate a particular student; staying in a conversation in the midst of conflict. For students, listening to oneself may mean re-evaluating a sequence of decisions that have led to the choice of a major. This is a kind of obedience to oneself, to pay attention to an “obligation which urges us to become more than we already are.” At other times it means suspending judgment and being willing to live through uncertainty in one’s perceptions of “good” and “bad.” Sometimes listening will mean attention to the word of God in the Scriptures, as in the practice of lectio divina. This practice of reading the Scriptures and other related texts in a prayerful, reflective manner accompanies and amplifies the listening integral to community worship. The word, through whatever channel it comes, awaits a response.
Benedictines offer world a spirituality of listening: Article in the Western Catholic Reporter by Paul Paproski OSB
Excerpt from The Monastery of the Heart: An Invitation to a Meaningful Life, by Joan Chittister, BlueBridge, 2011.
How to be a better listener
Listening Skills: Skills You Need: Listening
6 Ways to Be a Better Listener at Home: Improve communication with your kids: Suggestions from Loyola Press
How to become a better listener – 8 simple tips an Article from Christian Today
TEDTalk Video: Julian Treasure: In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.
Teaching Listening Skills
National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC) Teaching Listening
Edutopia: Say What? 5 Ways to Get Students to Listen