But as we know, there is more than silence and hearing that is required to not only hear, but to understand and allow the words of someone else to come in and change us. If I am in earshot of someone, then I can hear his or her words. Then, if my attention is on their words, I can discern the words being spoken. Silence and attentiveness have gotten us this far, and now it is possible for me to apply my mind as best I can to understand.
However, though I have listened in silence and attentiveness, I may still not understand the words (this happened to me quite a few times when studying philosophy!), so the words cannot enter my heart and change me. Or, even if I do understand, I might not accept them. After all, they may be against what I know I hold as true. Or, even deeper there may be a part of me that secretly knows that in order to receive these words into my heart I would have to change my life, my thinking and acting - and I don’t want to change.
“To have ears to hear,” says Fr Guardini, “requires grace, for God’s word can only be heard by him whose ears God has opened. He does this when He pleases, and the prayer for truth is directed at that divine pleasure.”
Let us then ask for this grace! Let us take the time: 5 to 15 minutes before Holy Mass to ask God to give us the grace to have ears to hear and receive his holy word in our hearts so we may be changed. Let us do this in silence and stillness, so that this prayer may be abundantly answered!
God bless you!
PS After the last few weeks of bulletins, someone asked me to answer the question: “how can I know I am in a State of Sin or a State of Grace? For a good answer to that now, see this webpage: www.saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html