Human voices: A perfect symphony

How does one enjoy the gift of knowing how to listen? Only by walking together as a Church do we learn to enjoy this gift.

One discovers new cultures when traveling. Traveling implies leaving one's comfort zone — it exposes oneself to new experiences that enrich us, forcing us to make the effort to listen to understand what others want to communicate to us — sometimes in a foreign language.

I especially noticed on my last trip abroad that the restaurants didn't play background music, nor did they have TV screens competing to entertain diners — a very interesting experience.

Another thing that caught my attention was the almost zero use of cell phones during meals — no one was texting or using social media.

What was the background music in these places, in these restaurants? Voices and laughter — what a perfect symphony does the human voice make when someone listens to it!

What is the goal when one has guests for dinner or is a guest? It's to share, to spend time together. There's no better seasoning for a meal than the people with whom we share it. Spending time together means leaving ample space to listen and share, converse and talk, and be together. This sharing is only possible when we are present to each other. Such are moments of human enrichment and personal growth.

Nowadays, cultural trends seek to silence the human voice and ignore everyone around us. To achieve a personal encounter with our neighbor, we must turn off the noise of current social tendencies and make room to listen and share. This is the essence of love. Love challenges us to open ourselves to others so that they can find room in our lives, in our hearts. It is precisely in the encounter with our neighbor – with our brothers and sisters — that we encounter an utterly new universe that invites us to let ourselves be known — that invites us to love.

We don't live in the clouds: we are real, and we need each other — we need to belong to our brother’s or sister’s universe; we need to learn to listen to their language to understand it, and once we understand it, we'll speak, converse, and share.

The human voice, laughter, one's presence, and emotional silence are treasures that are disappearing. This situation places the human being in a false world: a world that does not exist and for which he was not created. Isolation, emptiness, and the darkness of ignoring others make man the apparent lord and master, where the only thing he cares about is his own agenda and opinion. Thus, it creates a false universe where human beings are like small planets, each with its own orbit, without belonging to a planetary system. This false reality ignores the place, the history, and the purpose of life. It replaces them with individualistic, selfish goals where man becomes the center of the universe at the expense of others.

The world and our Church are looking for our leadership, our heart, and our voice; they claim our respect and joy, our responsibility, our presence, our openness, and our talents. As children of God created by his love, they call on us to be responsible stewards of what was entrusted to us: our family, our Church, our city, our country, our planet.

We don't need an ideology to respond to these challenges. What we need is the project of love! The world needs people who are not afraid or insecure — it needs human beings who are free: free to live, free to share, free to laugh, and free to listen to their brother or sister — to their neighbor.

To do God's will, that is, to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we need silence in our hearts. At the same time, the human heart — our own heart — was made to be heard by God and by our neighbor. As a community of love, our Church needs to listen to you — wants to listen to you to experience its daily process of conversion.

Jesus is waiting for you. He wants to hear your voice because, only in this way, will the Church live its daily sacramental life and put that life into practice every day.

Thus, with a heart ready to listen and to be heard, and, as brothers and sisters, let us make present, here and now, the kingdom of God which is Love.

If we want to grow as a Church, we have to learn to listen to each other to be enriched and open to embracing and accepting other faith experiences. This journey can only be lived when we listen to the Holy Spirit and let him inspire and guide us!