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Just A Thought Or Two . . .

March 12, 2014

Learning to Listen Is A Lenten Lesson.

How many times a day do parents and teachers request the attention of their children and students?  We have something really important to share and we want them to listen.  We incorrectly assume that when they are quiet and looking at us, they totally grasp the academic concept, the schedule change, or the new behavior expectation.  It is easy to become frustrated when we discover that important information was not processed.  As one young man recently said, “My mom says I never listen to her.  At least I think that is what she said.”

Studies show that we spend 80% of our waking hours communicating and thus, spend many hours listening.  Dale Carnegie said, “Listening is the catalyst that fosters mutual understanding and provides us with insights into people’s needs and desires so that we can connect with others.”  Effective listening skills promote positive relationships.

Most people define listening as “hearing.”  That is only part of the definition.  “Hearing” is a physical ability.  “Listening” is following and understanding the sounds.  Listening is a skill and is “hearing” with a purpose.   Listening is a generous gift to others in this technology dominated society.  Listening is a sign of respect.  Being an Effective Communicator is one of our Schoolwide Learning Expectations and listening is a critical piece of this communication process.  When we truly listen, we are present to the speaker.

Sunday’s Gospel tells the story of the Transfiguration.  Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the mountain.  Then Elijah and Moses appeared.  A cloud came, casting a shadow over them.  A voice said, “This is My beloved Son.  Listen to Him.”  During these Lenten days, Jesus has so much to tell us.  Do we simply go through the mechanical responses that might be required in ordinary listening, or are we open to the message that Jesus came to share?

Jesus took His disciples up to the mountain to pray.  We know the importance of Lenten prayer.  We’ve heard from childhood that “prayer is a conversation with God.”  We’ve gotten the talking of the communication process mastered.  We offer prayer of petition from morning to night.  “Lord, help me get through this day.”  “Lord, please give this family the strength they need to deal with all the health concerns.”  Of course, we throw in a few prayers of praise and thanksgiving. And when we think about it, we add a prayer of sorrow for past sins.  But the question becomes, “When do we listen?”

Knowing Jesus Christ is the most rewarding relationship we can ever have.  Knowing Jesus Christ is the foundation of a life adventure with an all-loving, all powerful, all merciful God.  How is this possible it we don’t ever listen?  We live in a noisy world.  Lenten days ask us to seek the silence.  Jesus asks for our undivided attention.  Jesus asks us to study His words and His stories. It is an incredible Lenten opportunity.  God was very clear: “Listen to Him.”

Week of March 10-14

Lenten Theme:   KINDNESS. Pope Francis has asked us to help the poor.  Please help us.

Service Focus:

  • Operation Rice Bowl. Students have their own Rice Bowl. Rice Bowls will be collected on Holy Thursday.
  • Humane Society:   Pet food
  • St. Vincent de Paul:  Peanut Butter/Rice/Pasta

Week of March 17-21

Lenten Theme:   PEACE.

Service Focus:

  • Crib Project
  • Veteran Care Packages
  • St. Vincent de Paul:  Canned Food

Please come and pray with us:

Sunday, March 16:  the 7th Grade and the Kindergarten will host the liturgy in All Saints Church at 10:30.

Wednesday, March 19: the 5B class will host the liturgy celebrating the Feast of St. Joseph in All Saints Church at 1:05.