Catholic World News

Pope Francis: listen to others, as God listens to our prayers

March 13, 2017

Pope Francis addressed volunteers from Telefono Amico Italia on March 11 and reflected on the importance of listening, describing it as “the simplest manifestation of charity towards our brothers.”

The organization, founded in 1967, has 700 volunteers that staff 20 call centers. According to its website, the volunteers receive calls from persons who are anxious, lonely, or angry.

Today’s culture, the Pope said in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, does not foster personal communication. “In such a context,” he said, “it is indispensible to favor dialogue and listening.”

“A precondition for dialogue is the capacity to listen, which unfortunately is not very common,” the Pope continued. “Listening to the other requires patience and attention. Only those who know how to be silent, know how to listen: listening to God, listening to the brother or sister in need of help, listening to a friend, to a relative.”

The Pope added:

God Himself is the most excellent example of listening: every time we pray, He listens to us, without asking anything, and He even precedes us and takes the initiative in granting our requests for help. The attitude of listening, for which God is the model, spurs us to break down the walls of incomprehension and to create bridges of communication, overcoming isolation and closure in our own little world.

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