It was a miserable day in Dublin today. Grey. Wet. Cold. It reflected our mood, how we felt today after yesterday’s incredible loss. Pádraig was terribly sad when he heard about what happened, as we all were.

Last Monday, I had a discussion with Louise about something I had seen on TV. Young men with a vocation had told the presenter that they had heard God speaking to them. Literally. I had said to Louise that I did understand the idea of a vocation, I could even follow this idea that there is a calling, that someone could be very strongly drawn to religious (or another dedicated) life – but that I had a problem to believe that someone could literally hear voices, normally.

Today, and by accident, I picked up a book someone had left here and found the following quote by someone called Robert Wicks:

When we pray, how often do we say: “Speak, Lord. for your servant is listening”? More often, I think, we say:”Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking!”

It’s one of the best, thought-provoking quotes I’ve read in a long time. Because it reflects an attitude to life that I recognise. Instead of listening, instead of being open to those around us, instead of inviting people and the world around us, the moments we’re living, in without prejudice – instead of listening, I’m talking, I’m demanding, I’m busy doing stuff non-stop. And very often getting annoyed, impatient, frustrated when things don’t go my way. I’m not someone who would have a conversation with God, but if I think of God as the giver of life, of life itself, of the others, the persons I meet, who are around me, well then I think that listening more to them, and talking less at them would make the world a better place and people a happier people.