A Listening Heart
Brother David Steindl-Rast
Our heart is that center where we are one with ourselves,
with all others, and with God.
But a calamity is also a word of God when it hits me. While working for me, a young man, as dear to me as my own little brother, has an accident. Glass is shattered in his eyes, and I find him lying blindfolded in a hospital bed. What is God saying now? Together we grope, grapple, listen, strain to hear. Is this, too, a life-giving word? When we can no longer make sense of a given situation, we have reached the crucial point. Now arises the challenge that calls for faith.
The clue lies in the fact that any given moment confronts us with a given relity. But if it is given, it is gift. If it is gift, the appropriate response is thanksgiving. Yet, thanksgiving, where it is genuine, does not primarily look at the gift and express appreciation; it looks at the giver and express trust. The courageous confidencethat trusts in the Giver of all gifts is faith. To give thanks even when we cannot see the goodness of the Giver - to learn this is to find the path to peace of heart. For happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.