I first heard the term compassionate listening this past weekend in a deacon formation class. We were learning about Carmelite Spirituality. Carmelites try to practice compassionate listening. From what I understand, it is a putting away of my own feelings, thoughts, and judgments, and listening to understand. A listening with one’s heart.
I talk to a fair amount of people in one day ranging from family, friends, colleagues, and students, but do I listen to them? I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a conversation with someone, and I find myself mentally forming my own answer or solution instead of listening to what the other person has to say.
This morning as we were praying Morning Prayer I thought to myself, “Have I been listening to God compassionately as I read His Word?” It seems I always think I have a lot to say, but I think I have been missing out on all that I have to hear.