Prayer for Listening

This prayer was shared as the opening prayer at a board meeting I attended last week. It was credited to a Canadian Jesuit named John Veltri SJ (who died in 2008) but his website says the source is unknown.  I like how this prayer gently points to the many levels of listening that are possible and necessary.

Teach me to listen, O God,
to those nearest me,
my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that
no matter what words I hear,
the message is,
“Accept the person I am. Listen to me.

Teach me to listen, my caring God,
to those far from me —
the whisper of the hopeless,
the plea of the forgotten,
the cry of the anguished.

Teach me to listen, O God my Mother,
to myself.
Help me to be less afraid
to trust the voice inside —
in the deepest part of me.

Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit,
for your voice —
in busyness and in boredom,
in certainty and in doubt,
in noise and in silence.

Teach me, Lord, to listen.  Amen.

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