Posted On 2022-02-05 In Covenant Life

Hearing damage

Martin Schiffl, Austria •

Thank you for the article “Shema, Israel – Hear Oh Israel, Listen, Schoenstatt and Schoenstatter”. I am especially happy about Pope Francis’ statement: The most important work of pastoral ministry is the “apostolate of the ear.”

Martin SchifflParticularly last year, I have noticed the increasing importance of hearing, of truly listening. Here in Austria there is a big gap between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. People are increasingly talking about a division in society. And from so much arguing, people overlook that the real problem is hearing damage (if I wan to be grammatically correct, it should probably be called damage from not being able to hear, but I like hearing damage better).

Just ask and listen

Here’s a brief history on this topic:

In a series of talks we started under the title “Encouraging Conversations with Vaccinated and Unvaccinated”, one (unvaccinated) woman said:

“I didn’t dare tell my friends that I had coronavirus because I didn’t want to expose myself to scorn. And the worst thing was that no one asked me why didn’t I get vaccinated.”

As a result, my wife and I started calling all the friends and acquaintances we knew who were not vaccinated and dared to ask them: Why? We didn’t want to hear opinions and arguments, only the real why. And so we just listened. They were wonderful conversations that, moreover, did us a lot of good.

And we discovered (what should be obvious): that there are as many experiences, concerns and reflections on this subject as there are people in the world. We appreciate the gratitude we received after these conversations. We pass it on to the Blessed Mother who, through Fr. Kentenich, made us see the enormous importance of what it means to just listen.

Although the importance of knowing how to listen is obvious to everyone, it cannot be talked or written about enough. So thank you, Pope Francis and thank you, Mrs. Fischer

United in the Schoenstatt spirit
Martin Schiffl from Austria

Original: Spanish 05/02/2022. Translated by: María Aragón, Monterrey. México

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