Let us cultivate the art of listening and accompaniment
To help us prepare to celebrate the feast of our founder, St John Bosco, for nine days, Salesian Cooperators from across the Province share their personal reflections on the Rector Major's Strenna 2018 and their vocation.
On our final day, Brian reminds us how skilled St John Bosco was at listening. As Salesian Cooperators, we follow his example as we live out our faith.
Many of you will remember that when John Bosco was ten years old he impressed Don Calosso, an elderly priest, as to how well he had listened to and remembered that day's sermon at Becchi. As a result of being impressed by this startling demonstration, Don Calosso taught John grammar and Latin as the first step towards his eventual priesthood.
We live in a world where we are bombarded by sounds. One problem that we have is that, at school, we were taught to read but told to listen. Sadly hearing is not listening. Listening requires an active mind, something we cannot always switch on. Our brain so easily drifts back into a passive, hearing-only state. How often does the conversation between husband and wife include the phrase 'you don't listen to me'?
How can we become better listeners or emulate what John Bosco managed? Perhaps the next homily that we hear would be a good opportunity to test how well we can listen and remember. Perhaps we could listen afresh to some of the beautiful prayers that are part of Holy Mass and appreciate them.
We are all in this together. If, by some means, we could become better listeners we would be in a stronger position to listen to young people. We might need to reflect back to them what we believe they are saying to us and to our communities. Let us pray for just a little of John Bosco's amazing skill as we practice our own listening.
Salesian Cooperators were set up by Don Bosco himself; we are part of the worldwide Salesian family, serving God in the young and the poor. We are lay people living our vocation according to our own circumstances in life.
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