By Olivia Obijiaku
The Coordinator of the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria and a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Mrs. Christiana Ekenta has called on the faithful people of God to cultivate the habit of having a quiet time with God so that they can effectively listen to His promptings and guidance.
Speaking on the topic ‘Building Faith through Listening,’ at the parish, on Monday, 23rd May, 2022, during the 2022 Communication Week, Mrs. Ekenta pointed out that many people are stuck in their challenges longer than necessary because of the noisy environment that bars them from listening to God’s leading whispers at such times.
“What is very disturbing in today is that noise is all over the place.” The coordinator explained. “Quietness is quite difficult. So in this time, it is more difficult to actually listen because of so much noise around us. For us to discover ourselves and hear God speak to us, we have to cultivate the habit of listening in a quiet place. When we listen, there is a message to take home. When we listen with the intention of getting the message, the Holy Spirit interprets the message that we have heard and talks to us about what God wants us to hear about a particular situation,”
“There are times we just need to keep quiet and listen to what God has to tell us. When we do that, He will direct us and we will be helps to other people we are going through similar situations. If we listen, we will be able to hear that small voice. Unless we make time for quiet moment with God, we might not know the solution to our challenges. It is not easy to be a good listener but listening is a skill we can learn. It shows our love for others. When we keep talking without listening to others, we might not be sensitive to their needs. We need to pay attention to other people and resist the temptation of jumping into conclusion.”
“Understanding the Word means that you have to be humble before God, it does not matter what your status is. We must hear and listen in order to understand and put what we have heard into action. We should be mindful of His Word; meditate on them and put them into action. We need to be in His Presence to listen to Him. Listening is vital to all effective communication because without the ability to listen effectively, messages are misinterpreted.”
Defining listening as the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process Mrs. Ekenta observed that one may be hearing without listening and that what one hears about people can affect their relationships positively or negatively citing that the woman with the issue of blood had faith in Jesus based on what she heard about Him. She then linked listening to character formation reminding them of the need to rely on the Holy Spirit as their Teacher and Guide, and to read and live the Bible.