The Listening that Sees

imagesTaken from the THIRD READING to Consecrated People: CONTEMPLATE

The style of Christ is learnt starting from listening. We are invited to be committed to a contemplative style in which the Word shines forth in how we live as men and women, in prayerful silence, in fraternity, in our encounters and deaconates, in the places in which we live where we proclaim the graces of mercy, in choices, in decisions, and in pathways of formation pursued in a constant and fruitful way.

A consecrated person finds in listening to the Word of God a place where he or she places himself or herself under the gaze of the Lord and learns from Him to look at himself or herself, other people and the world. The Letter to the Hebrews (4:13) demonstrates in an effective way this encounter of gazes: in front of the Word of God (lógos toû theouû) there is no creature that can hide – everything is naked and uncovered before its eyes and we do not have to provide an account of ourselves to it (ho lógos). The Word sees us, looks at us, looks at us again, calls upon us and involves us, its eyes are like a flame of fire (cf. Ap 19:12).

Christian contemplation is born and grows in the exercise of obedient listening (ob-audire) that is not interrupted. Whereas it is God who speaks, the believer is a person who is called to listen; a contemplative is a person who listens unceasingly. We see through hearing in a relationship that is an alliance, a completion, a glory. An active sgm-03exercise – love and desire for truth: ‘Obey my voice and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk in all the way I command you, that it may be well with you’ (Jer 7:23).

This synthesis of hearing and seeing ‘becomes possible starting with the consecrated person of Jesus who is seen and is listened to…in this sense St. Thomas Aquinas speaks about the oculata fides of the apostles, a faith that is seen, in front of the corporeal vision of the Risen Christ. They saw the risen Christ with their eyes and believed, that is to say they were able to penetrate the depths of what they saw to confess the Son of God, seated at the right hand of the Father…Only when we are configured to Christ do we receive eyes suited to seeing him’; called to listening we cultivate a meek heart (1 Kings 3:9) and we ask for wisdom and intelligence (cf. 1 Kings 3:12) in order to discern what comes from God and what is its opposite.