UP Catholic 04 14 2017 E Edition Page 4

4 April 14, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org Upper Peninsula Travelers Presents Myrtle Beach Show Trip & Charleston ,SC September 9 - 17, 2017 / $845 per person, dbl Occ. Price includes transportation, hotels, 14 meals, Three evening shows: Legends in Concert, Carolina Opry, & Alabama Theater's "One The Show", a morning show: The Thunder & Light Show, Free time in Charleston SC, visit Broadway at The Beach, Brookgreen Gardens and much more. For information & Reservations contact Sheila Heikkinen (906) 524-7003 or shebob123@charter.net L istening has become a lost art. Every- body is talking, but what good is that doing? If nobody is listening no one is learning a thing! Certainly in the public arena this is true and, unfortunately, it is also true in many of our homes. Perhaps a pause is in order Much loneliness is a result of feeling isolated, that no one cares. The best antidote for this sense of isolation is to know that someone does care about who we are and what is hap- pening in our lives. To truly listen to another is to connect at that deepest level where we are who we are. Listening to God and listen- ing to others go hand in hand. It is a gift to simply be present in silence, to clear ones mind, and wait. A first step is to learn to listen to Gods world. Listen to the colors of sunrise. Listen to the birds, to the wind in the trees, to the lapping of water along a shore, to the power of thunder, to a star-studded sky. To come with no preconceived idea of what God may say is to be open to a surprise word from our Father. The psalmist says that the heavens tell the glory of God, that we hear his voice in the roaring of the sea. Be still, says the psalmist, and know that I am God. Recently the stars reminded me that the God who is faithful for eons upon eons is faithful to me, today! Listen. Listen to others. The first rule of counseling is to be quiet and listen. Just as telling ones story and pain is often enlightening and healing. A good counselor listens first. A good friend listens. Nothing can hinder real communication more than one person going on and on and on, often talking at rather than with the other person. Some people seem incapable of letting there be even the slightest space between words in contrast to real friends being able sim- ply to enjoy being in the presence of the other. Real listening involves much more than hear- ing words. It involves reading body language, the look in the others eyes or the tone of the others emotions, the touch on the hand. What do we hear the Father say at the Baptism of Jesus? This is my Son. Listen to him. What does the Father say after the Transfiguration? This is my Son. Listen to him. When we take a Gospel in hand, do we listen for only the words, or do we try to fathom the feelings of Jesus in this episode? What is he hoping? What joy or pain is Jesus experiencing? When I walk next to him as he teaches his disciples which of his words apply to me, today! When I sit on the edge of the crowd what mes- sage comes to my heart? Often it is enough to repeat over and over to oneself even one word to let it soak in deeply where it can revive my heart and soul, challenge me to love better, to serve more generously. Speak, Lord, your servant is listening. REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling Listening is an act of love LISTENING TO GOD AND LISTENING TO OTHERS GO HAND IN HAND. IT IS A GIFT TO SIMPLY BE PRESENT IN SILENCE, TO CLEAR ONE'S MIND, AND WAIT. I think it was following the second grade that I participated in my first summer reading program sponsored by the public library. When we returned a book, the librarian would quiz us. Then we were allowed to add it to a registry with spaces for one or two books a week. At the end of the second week, my registry was full and I got to choose from a large selection of trinkets whis- tles, jacks, marbles and such. I picked out a very nice small rock for my collection. Some kids in the neigh- borhood excelled at sports. I excelled at sitting in a quiet spot and reading these short chil- drens books. I excelled at color- ing too, or at least thats what my mom told me. Never one to excel at sleep, I often read late into the night when I was in high school. When I was a freshman at my Catholic high school, students were given a list of important books and encouraged to read a good number of them before graduation. It was a pretty diverse list and included a few books that people like to claim as having been banned by religious institutions. Oddly enough, some of those same people often try to ban from the public arena an entire library that is foundational to Western culture the Bible. During one stretch I read the John Updike series that began with Rabbit, Run and a lot of Joseph Hellers books, including Catch 22. Sister Louise, the nun in charge of our library, inally told me I needed to get out of the rut of reading so many books with dark themes and ind something uplifting for a while. That was good advice. It was Catholic advice. She didnt say to only read saccharine sweet novellas. She didnt say to read only the Bible and deep religious writings. She encouraged me to expand my horizons and get out of a rut. In recent years Ive added to my reading list mystery novels by a certain author who just happens to be my wife. An avid reader, she has filled our shelves with books two and three deep, forming a good platform for even more books to lie flat on top. Its a shame that todays society is so focused on scientific knowledge and rules that we've for- gotten about truth and beauty, and that the arts are more about entertainment than expression. A good novel can lead one to new perspectives, and the Good Book can lead one to God. I got a rock HERE AM I John Fee

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