Listening can be either passive and accidental, or active and deliberate. Let me demonstrate by means of a true-life story!
Last night, in the dead of night, I awoke for no discernible reason. My room was in complete darkness apart from all the dimly flashing light coming from various bits of tech on standby.
All I could hear was a very quiet rumbling and ticking, which I could not identify. Was it some portent of doom? Should I investigate it lest it be a presage of domestic disaster?
I lay perfectly still. The sound was not coming from me, at least. I turned my head this way and that trying to localise the source, but had no luck.
In the silence of the night, this tiny sound became louder and louder. I got out of bed and moved around the room, hoping to get a bearing on its source. Ah! There in the corner! I switched on the light, but kept my eyes closed, the better to hear. I moved closer and the sound grew less quiet. My quarry was nearly discovered…..
It was the timer on my electric radiator which was making “all that racket”. My poor simple brother radiator which has kept me warm in the chill of winter for many years, was simply counting out the time until he could next perform his Divine Office by heating my room and preserving my health, unknowing of his heavy responsibility. I was so overjoyed by this discovery, but could reward him nothing that he would esteem.
God Himself, and so many of God’s creatures are keeping a protective eye on us at all times, without our noticing, or thanks, and it makes me sad. Our own blessings go un-thanked. I know what personal ingratitude feels like, as I’m sure you all do.
Why are we so unkind and thankless to the ones who love us? I suppose we’ll have to put it down to original sin.