Sage advice offered by Grandmother Willow to Pocahontas.
And yet, those words seem to reach through the animated feature to this Disney lover.
Last Friday, Fr. Chito shared in his homily that although people have ears to hear, it is the heart that we use to truly listen.
Unlike hearing which is merely the reception of sounds by our organs, listening is an action word. It pushes the listener to place value on the message and the sender. True listening creates a special bond between the members of that exchange. The essence of which is the giving of oneself through their focus, attention and time to the other. For an eternal instant, their souls fuse to impart the gift of their selves to one another.
But between those who truly love, spending that time to listen to each other may not even require words. How many a child has found solace in the warm embrace of a parent? How many a new parent has found inexplicable joy in being able to hear the heartbeat of a child in the mother’s womb eagerly awaiting its arrival into the world?
During the night of the Last Supper, mixed emotions must have stirred in the hearts of Jesus’ disciples but the beloved one chose to place his head on his Lord’s chest. Imagine how must it felt to offer comfort to your Master in that small way and being rewarded with an eternal instant of shared love. Imagine how Mary felt to be bonded to her Messiah who chose her womb as His dwelling place for 9 months. Imagine Saint John Paul the Great who would often be found embracing the crucifix with his head on his Master’s chest drawing strength from the endless wellspring of life.
We as servants – slaves – are called to a life of obedience. But how can a servant obey if he is not even able to listen to the orders of his Master? Even the most well-trained army can fail in their mission if they fail to heed the marching orders of their general.
It is a must, then, that our prayers not just be for the eyes of our heart to be opened, but the ears as well.
Let the song of our souls be like that of Samuel, that even in the darkest moments of our lives sing
Speak Lord, Your servant is listening.