Jesus shows me how friends listen
Spiritual Exercise 55
First I take some seeds, put them in a bowl and place it to hand.
Immediately on waking, I recall people I know who need a good listener and imagine bringing them to Jesus. I get dressed with thoughts like these.
At my prayer place, I make a gesture of reverence and humility.
I ask for the grace to direct my whole self toward Jesus who listens.
I desire to listen with Jesus.
I read the prayer texts to see how Jesus listens. Then, in three steps, I pray:
1. Jesus listens me. I choose one of the listening relationships in the prayer texts. I use my imagination to enter the scene as the one listening. I fill in the details of place, people, and conversation. I come to Jesus and let the scene unfold.
2. As a friend of Jesus, I listen to others. I use my imagination to bring before me a person I know who needs me, without judgment, to listen to them. I fill in the details of place. I imagine what we might say. I let the scene unfold as I befriend and listen like Jesus.
3. I see my part in the great unfolding story of divine friendship, creation, salvation, and eternal life. I imagine, in detail, the effects of my listening radiating forward into the long future. I see more and more people, communities, and even the earth and its creatures listening to each other and God’s voice in all.
Conversation of the Senses
In reverence, I take my seeds, symbol of listening with a good, honest heart. I bless them.
With seeds in my hands, Jesus and I share how we feel about our friendship. Then we consider how I may listen to those I have remembered in this prayer.
Martha had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Lk 10:39–42)
The parable of the sower is this: The seed is the word of God. The seeds on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. (Lk 8:11–12, 14–15)
When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth leaving Jericho, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. (Mk 10:47–52)
And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (Jn 11:23–28, 32–44)
Time: 35 Minutes
Preparation: 10 minutes. Opening Prayer: 1 minute. Desire: 1 minute. Prayer: 20 minutes. Conversation: 3 minutes. Listening Book: 10 minutes.
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