Second Sunday of Lent
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”  Perhaps the most essential tool we truly need to consider and make ready during our spiritual journey on the everlasting way is to learn how to listen to the Lord with attention, presence and with good intention.  We tend to listen to noise, to lies and to others tell lies of other people.  Rather than listening to truth, to scripture, to Jesus we choose to listen to curse words, foul language and blasphemes uttered by people we know, love and trust.  Rather than listening to words that are uplifting, encouraging and quite insightful, we choose to listen to profanity and vulgarity then repeat what we hear like a bad joke or an embarrassing situation at another’s expense.  Listening requires knowledge, knowledge understanding, and understanding discernment and good spiritual discernment leads to a well-informed decision to speak the good we hear from God and to avoid permitting any evil talk to pass by our ears or lips and even to resist evil words from entering our hearts or thoughts.  How we speak speaks volumes about the company we keep and the people or person that has captured our spiritual attention and given a listening ear.  Truly listening to God and desiring to hang on his every word is both virtuous and a gift.  To want to hear what God has to say and to want to share with others what God shared with you is both a grace and a gift. Listening requires silent, contemplative prayer.  We have to practice prayer and practice listening in order to hear and receive the intimate knowledge God personally speaks to you in response to your need, to your petition, to the grace you sought after.  We must pray and ask God for the grace to learn how God speaks to us, and the particular words he chooses to reach us.  We must invest some sacred time for intentional pray to understand what God is saying to us and the purpose for the words he chooses to reach us, heal us, teach us, instruct us, and inspire us. If you listen carefully to the tone of an individual, the phrases they use, the words that come from their mouth, the promises they make or those promises they break and the excuses they give, that will give a good indication to whom they are listening. If the words are kind, full of compassion, mutually forgiving, shed light on gospel truths, then chances are good that God is speaking and you are listening to him.

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