Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Heart Speaks to Heart

Understanding, a desired result of communication, is for one reason or another not always present. The frequent ad hominem attacks and the deliberate distortions of the opponent's position that so often are publicized in our media should embarrass all of us. But apparently there is an attraction in the effort to take another person's words and make them say what we find easier to deal with. The columnist in the open forum of the Catholic Times gives  us his ideas on what may happen when a person is not able to open his heart to another.

There are many in our world who firmly close the door to their hearts; the world to them seems dreary and lacks beauty. They do not believe the good will of the other and they are filled with doubts. They are, the columnist says, like the bird that, refusing to spread its wings, does not fly.  Humans  that refuse to reveal their  hearts will not be able to love.  When we do not open our hearts to the other, the other is likely to do the same, and we have no communication.

When meeting another, the biggest sadness is not being  able to speak to their heart. Although "heart speaking unto heart" are precious moments of true communication that can bring great happiness, the inability to open their hearts brings great sadness. To receive a gift from a friend or from nature, I have to be directed to that gift and open my heart. Whatever prevents the opening of  our hearts has to be removed before the gift of the other can be received.

Life is a series of encounters: meeting parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, friends, teachers, co-workers. The nature of the encounters will bring change into our life and help to decide its direction. Our religious life is also an encounter, and the most important since it opens us up to God. This begins with a call. We have to be open to this call with our spiritual  ears. This will open us to his grace and mission. Many of us have the same difficulty in opening our hearts to God as we have opening our hearts to others.

Opening ourselves to God means allowing ourselves to become approachable, getting rid of our defenses and being vulnerable. This attitude brings happiness and success and helps us to be an influence for good. With our hearts open, we will receive what God wants to give. This is another way of saying we are in an attitude of prayer with an affirming, humble and loving heart. It is our task to prepare our hearts to be always open. Isn't this a task that we should gladly take up daily?


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