I have said that one of the greatest gifts we give others is a listening ear. To listen unselfishly is to love unconditionally. People long, hunger and even ache for a listening ear. So many people say they listen, but their listening has the intention of having their own turn to speak.
To listen to another is to die to self. It is to give oneself away to another. That is pure gift to the other. That is pure love, agape love.
But for the first time I see that to truly love God is to be present to God with a listening ear, a listening heart and a listening mind. It is not to get something from God. It is to be fully present to God. To truly love God is not to do things for God, but to present to God with a listening life, a listening ear.
But I can go one step further. To truly love myself is not necessarily to do things for myself, to “pamper myself,” although that might be needed at times. To listen to myself is to truly love myself. Perhaps deep with I long, hunger and even ache for me to be still enough, quiet enough to listen. In listening to myself, I will find a solidarity with others in their pain and in their joy. And to listen to myself I might even stumble upon a “pearl of great price.” I might find, be found by, the God who lives within.