From all that I said about our worries, overfilled lives, it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much outer noise that it is hard to truly hear our God when he is speaking to us. We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction he calls us.
Thus our lives have become absurd. In the word absurd we find the Latin word surdus, which means “deaf.” A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear.
When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient lives. The word obedient comes from the Latin word audire, which means listening. A spiritual discipline is necessary in order to move slowly from an absurd to an obedient life, from a life filled with noisy worries to a life in which there is some free inner space where we can listen to our God and follow his guidance.
Jesus’ life was a life of obedience. He was always listening to the Father, always attentive to his voice, always alert for his directions. Jesus was “all ears.” That is true prayer: being all ears for God. The core of all prayer is indeed listening, obediently standing in the presence of God.
Turn distractions into prayers! Keep a note pad by your chair as you relax in solitude. When distractions come, write them down and then later, commit it to prayer and action if appropriate.