Daily Prayer 365

Day 266
Wednesday, May 24, 2023


I love the Lord, for God heard my voice;
    God heard my cry for mercy.
Because the Lord turned a holy ear to me,
    I will call on the Lord as long as I live. —Psalm 116:1–2

No question that there were startling parallels between what the fathers of Improv and Father Joe had to say. Between Second City and the City of God… Father Joe says, “None of us listen enough, do we dear? We only listen to a fraction of what people say. It’s a wonderfully useful thing to do. You almost always hear something you didn’t expect.” The advice I’d gotten from every source, if I wanted to arrive at a similar apotheosis, was listen. Listen at every level—to the words, the emotions, the intent of the other or others. Be completely open to them, bring nothing preconceived or prepared to the moment. Listen and then speak only to what you’ve heard. Do that and you can’t go wrong. Improv is not just a means to entertain, it’s also a process that is an end in itself, a way of knowing, of grasping the nature of another, the reality of the other’s existence, an aspect of the truth of the matter under discussion which you thought you knew but didn’t until this moment… Hadn’t Father Joe twenty or more years ago said an almost identical thing? The only way to know God, the only way to know the other, is to listen. Listening is reaching out into that unknown self, surmounting your walls and theirs. —Tony Hendra, Father Joe

Let me listen for the divine prompting, the voice within who is found within the words, emotions, and intention of everyday life. Let me listen and hear the one who hears my cry. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

May 28, 2023

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