From all that I said about our worried, over-filled lives, it is clear that we are usually surrounded by so much inner and outer noise that it is hard to truly hear our God when he is speaking to us.

We have often become deaf, unable to know when God calls us and unable to understand in which direction he calls us.

Thus our lives have become absurd.

In the word "absurd" we find the Latin word "surdus," which means "deaf."

A spiritual life requires discipline because we need to learn to listen to God, who constantly speaks but whom we seldom hear.

When, however, we learn to listen, our lives become obedient lives.

The word "obedient" comes from the Latin "audire," which means "listening."

A spiritual discipline is necessary in order to move slowly from an absurd to an obedient life,

from a life filled with noisy worries 

to a life in which there is some free inner space where we can listen to God and follow his guidance.

Jesus' life was a life of obedience.

He was always listening to the Father,

always attentive for his voice,

always alert for his directions.

Jesus was "all ear."

That is true praying; being all ear for God.

(Henri Nouwen)