Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from a father who loves you; welcome it, and faithfully put it into practice. The labor of obedience will bring you back to him from whom you had drifted through the sloth of disobedience…Let us open our eyes to the light that comes from God, and our ears to the voice from heaven that every day calls out…(Rule of Benedict, Prologue)
“Into the midst of all this indistinguishable cacophony of life, the bell tower of every Benedictine monastery rings ‘listen.’ Listen with the heart of Christ. Listen with the lover’s ear. Listen for the voice of God. Listen in your own heart for the sound of truth, the kind that comes when a piece of quality crystal is struck by a medal rod…[Modern life] does not prepare us for the slow and tedious task of listening and learning, over and over, day after day, until we can finally hear the people we love and love the people we’ve learned to dislike and grow to understand how holiness is here and now for us” (Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled, 23, 26).
Listening (intently) and Obedience go hand in hand. See what factors this week cause you to be distracted and inattentive to God’s voice, your friend’s and family’s voices, and your own desire for Christ’s presence.
Make note of these distractions then ask the tough question, ‘why am I distracted by this?’ Reflect also on times when you most attentive to God and to others. How can you integrate those times into everyday life?