Irving, Texas


Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” (Luke 9:35).

There is a long distance between hearing and listening. When it comes to the similarities between listening and hearing, the only one is you use your ears for both. After that, they’re very different. Hearing is the act of perceiving sound and receiving sound waves or vibrations through your ear. Listening is the act of hearing a sound and understanding what you hear. Hearing is one of the five senses and it just happens all the time – whether you like it or not – unless you have a hearing problem. But if you listen, you are consciously choosing what you want to hear. You concentrate on what you hear in order to understand the message.

So this Lent, the question becomes who or what are you listening to? Whose message are you concentrating on?

All sorts of things vie for our attention and distract us from listening. We find ourselves  constantly  checking our emails voicemails, twitter accounts, Facebook not to mention TV, movies and radio. For many people it becomes very difficult to lay these social media opportunities aside. It causes us to fail to listen to our Lord. A word from the Lord with direction, comfort or challenge are part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

If we are focused on hearing the voice of God and then listening to his direction…we will be amazed where this can come from. It can come from the youngest child to a most experienced and mindful of adults as long as we are listening from our heart and soul.

There comes a time in which to be… simply to be and listen while God quietly tells us who we are and who he wants us to be. It is then in deep listening, God can take our emptiness and fill it up with what he wants, and drain away the business with which we inevitably get involved in the dailiness of human living. We need to do as we have been asked to do in the Gospel: “Listen to Him.”

It strikes me that most people tend to be hard of listening rather than hard of hearing.

I close with words from a  Spiritual I greatly appreciate.

When He calls me, I will answer.
When He calls me, I will obey.
When He calls me, I will answer.

I’ll be somewhere, somewhere,

I’ll be somewhere listening for my name.

– Fr. Bill Forrest 



  1. Jacqueline Maki

    You have reminded me: hearing is more with the ears; listening is more with the mind and heart and soul. Thank you, Father Bill.

  2. Meg Mueller (Author)

    “It strikes me that most people tend to be hard of listening rather than hard of hearing.”

    I love that line. Wish there were “listening aids” to help with that.

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