My wife, Cheryl, is a good listener. It’s her charism, a wonderful gift in her elder-care ministry. She developed her listening skills through Stephen ministry and other training programs and regularly exercises it when visiting the homebound and seniors.
Not so much for me. I don’t find it easy to just listen. I want to jump in and solve problems, sometimes with undue haste. In today’s Gospel, Simon and those with him listened to Jesus. Yet when it was time to obey, Simon reacted. “I have tried all night to catch fish!” Then Simon took a breath, reconsidered, and obeyed. And Jesus provided far more than fish for a day: Simon, James and John found vocations for life.
So what is the lesson for me? Perhaps today it simply is this: listen first; act second. Take a moment each day to be “contemplative” before revving up “in action.”
—Howard Craig is the director of advancement for the Midwest Jesuits. He and his wife Cheryl have five daughters, six grandkids, and two dogs.