Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An ear that will listen

"Eli listening to Samuel"

To say that an unwillingness to listen is "the beginning of the death of the spiritual life" is a very strong statement, indeed. And I'm quite certain that it is true. Not only does this represent an utter lack of compassion, it closes us off from insight and receptivity. Of all people, Bonhoeffer understood this:

Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God, either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God, too. This is the beginning of the death of the spiritual life, and in the end there will be nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words ... never really speaking to others.

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

1 comment:

  1. This one's wonderful, Ellie. Such an important lesson.

    ReplyDelete

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