“If you have ears to hear, listen,” Jesus repeatedly says. It is the first act of the art of prayer, the middle act, and the last act. Over time we find the wisest and most humble among us understand prayer to be “nothing but listening.”
Note the amusing and insightful interview with Mother Teresa:
Reporter: “What do you say when you pray?”
Mother Teresa: “Nothing, I just listen.”
R: “Well, then, what does God say to you when you pray?”
MT: “Nothing, he just listens… if you don’t understand that, I can’t explain it.”
Inexplicable, but not without gaining understanding. Learning to pray often reveals our constant novice status when we think we ought to have graduated. But as Mother Teresa reveals, we are always just learners, we are always just listeners.
I, who live by words, am wordless when
I try my words in prayer. All
To silence. Prayer will take my words
Reveal their emptiness. The stifled voice learns
To hold its peace, to listen with the heart
To silence that is joy, is adoration.