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I came across this terrific reflection by the Concord Pastor, who offers a probing examination of conscience keyed to the theme of understanding. It strikes me as particularly apt for those who spend time here in the blogosphere:
Do I listen with a desire to learn?
Do I seek to understand that I might learn the truth?
Do I speak with sincere respect for those who hear me?
Do I listen as intently to others as I hope others listen to me?
Do I open myself to truths, old and new,
truths I’ve not known or understood before, truths I’ve rejected?
Do I speak the truth charitably when it calls others to accountability?
Do I listen humbly when others speak a discomforting truth to me?
Do I recognize my own limitations’ impact on how I understand others?
Do I listen patiently to others who disagree with me?
Do I speak patiently to those who misunderstand me?
Do I keep in mind that some people
have been misunderstood all their lives?
Do I understand that some people will just never understand?
Do I understand how much more there always is for me to understand?
Do I know how to converse without needing to convince?
Do I know how to debate without needing to defeat?
Do I forgive those who misunderstand me?
Do I ask forgiveness of those I’ve misunderstood?
Do I seek, do I pray to understand more
and to be more understanding?
Do I seek to understand so that I might gain wisdom?
Do I allow the truth to correct my misunderstandings?
Do I speak the truth I know that others might understand it?
Do my words invite others to consider, understand
and embrace what is true?
Do I understand there is a truth to be understood?
Visit the Concord Pastor for more. And I have to say: Fr. Fleming’s thoughtful, cheerful, prayerful blog remains one of the nicest on the web. Visiting there is like spending time with an old friend — one who just happens to give great homilies, too! Stop by and say hello.