When we are silent in conversation, it inspires a friend or loved one to speak. Pope Francis knows that our discipline of silence invites God, and we need not even utter, “Speak, Lord.” When another human being talks to us, we listen, as a matter of courtesy and communication. If we aspire to discernment, the same politeness is extended to God:
172. Nonetheless, it is possible that, even in prayer itself, we could refuse to let ourselves be confronted by the freedom of the Spirit, who acts as he wills. We must remember that prayerful discernment must be born of a readiness to listen: to the Lord and to others, and to reality itself, which always challenges us in new ways. Only if we are prepared to listen, do we have the freedom to set aside our own partial or insufficient ideas, our usual habits and ways of seeing things. In this way, we become truly open to accepting a call that can shatter our security, but lead us to a better life. It is not enough that everything be calm and peaceful. God may be offering us something more, but in our comfortable inadvertence, we do not recognize it.