The First Duty of Love is to Listen! 5 Minute Therapy. Faryna Podcast EP4. #nicheamnesty

The First Duty of Love is to Listen!
by Stan Faryna

Play the soundcloud player to hear the podcast. Or download it here. The podcast sounds awesome with earphones or played on hi-fi speakers. Try it and tell me what you think.

Mobile users: you should be able to hear the podcast here.

God speaks to us. Me. You. Everyone. Often. God does not forget us. And God listens to us.

Often, God speaks to us through the world, through events… people. It could even be a song. The right song playing on the radio. At the right moment. The song that puts the world back together for us. The song that lifts our heart out of darkness. Out of pain.

When… God speaks, we are moved deeply. In us. For others. In joy or compassion. Or even in an expansive feeling for the world, the universe, and life itself.

When God speaks to us, God often speaks with the soft-spoken intimations of love. But loud if need be. According to divine purpose. And careful of our will – that it be free.

It could be footprints in the snow – the barefoot footprints of Carmelite friars. And seeing those footprints, a question was written upon the heart of a teen-age boy.

If others can make such sacrifices for God, can’t I offer him something?

But if we don’t hear God, it is because we do not care to listen… for a God who speaks to us.

Because – most of all and most of the time, we don’t want to hear from God. We don’t want to hear what God is saying – even if our life and happiness depends upon it. We have our own ideas, expectations, and plans about ourselves, our life, and what we’re doing.

In fact, we do hear God- regardless of whether or not you believe in God. In fact, we do not acknowledge God – even when we like what God is saying to us. Or need God.

When we like what w’re hearing, we say that our heart has spoken, that serendipity or synchronicity has happened. That the universe has nodded to us.

In Facebook jargon, you’ve been poked. Most of the time, our first instinct is not to poke back.

We take God for granted – just as we take our loved ones for granted.

And yet, we cannot ignore a God that speaks to us. Though we will pretend God to be a stranger – silent and serene. As if God did not exist. Was not real. Could not speak to us.

Because our hearts yearn for a great love. It is a love so great that no man or woman could ever give us – though we will ask it from them. Even demand it. And we will be unsatisfied. Ever searching for that soulmate who can give us what – even a soulmate cannot give.

Because our yearning for God may come as a great restlessness that does not allow us to enjoy peace, quiet, or gentleness. Because in peace, quiet, and gentleness, we feel our self-imposed emptiness.

Because our yearning for God may come to us in our anger, mistrust, and cynicism for the world. For people.

This yearning may come to us in our stubborn self-deceit. And, the harm we do to ourselves and those we love. Or in our readiness to deceive or harm others.

We are mean. Sometimes. Because we have become desperate for that which we cannot have. Because, in truth, we have denied it to ourselves. In our pride. In our ignorance.

But we all know this to be true: everyone wants love, forever and always. Yes, we want it our own terms. But the terms of love, any kind of good love, right now or forever – the terms are simple and non-negotiable.

You must be true. You must serve. You must give.

This is to love.

And the first duty of love? The first duty of love is to Listen.

And, yes, God is speaking to you. He speaks to you – even right now.

Are you listening?

Are you listening?

Stan Faryna
21 July 2011
Bucharest, Romania

Special Thanks to Adrian Klein for producing this podcast. Adrian, you do amazing things!

Faryna Podcasts recently produced by Adrian Klein:

1. Why do I blog: Faryna Podcast EP1

2. If Tomorrow Was Your Last Day: Faryna Podcast EP2

3. Money Can’t Buy Happiness: Faryna Podcast EP3

4. Are you ready for love?

Note: If you want to make a podcast out of your blog post, get in touch with Adrian Klein on Twitter or Facebook. He charges $500 for a five minute podcast.


38 Responses to The First Duty of Love is to Listen! 5 Minute Therapy. Faryna Podcast EP4. #nicheamnesty

  1. adrianklein says:

    Your speech is so touching, I had tears in my eyes when editing it.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Dude! Man up… j/k

      I’m glad to hear that God has spoken to you. You see, it’s not so strange – after all.

  2. Hi Stan, Hi Adrian,
    This was beautifully done. I just let my husband listen to it. It’s nice to listen rather than read once in a while!
    I can relate to hearing God’s voice in song. Years ago our priest did a homily where he related modern music to God speaking to us and it was amazing what you could hear when you listened from that perspective. Now I ask for a song, if I need one, and it comes. Sometimes it plays sort of in the background and I don’t notice it until I will suddenly tune in and listen. I have to listen through the lyrics for a while at times to hear the message – but wow!
    When I tell my friends about this, it opens things up for them and suddenly they’re “getting” song messages too!
    Opening it up – kind of like you’re doing here Stan!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      It’s encouraging to see your comment. Songs, blog posts, pod casts – God uses whatever is available. It sounds like a blog post about serendipitous songs would make a great blog post on your blog, life – for instance. What do you say?

  3. Stan, aloha. What a magnificent message in this piece. It was a terrific way to start my day and I look forward to sharing it with others.

    Stan, your description of love truly resonated with me:

    “You must be true. You must serve. You must give.”

    “And the first duty of love? The first duty of love is to Listen.”

    For what else is there? What more could be added except further amplification of these very thoughts?

    Stan, in a few words you have expressed an all encompassing concept and force beautifully. You are indeed a master weaver of words and ideas.

    Yes, Stan, I do listen–regularly and consciously. For me, it is a way of life, it is who I am.

    Thank you, my friend, for these eloquent words to carry with me today and for the future.

    Wishing you a day filled with the joy and love you so generously give to others. From Hawaii to Romania, much love and aloha, Janet

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Janet.

      With such wonderful friends standing by my side, I am easily finding the courage to be, to give, and to receive love- boldly.

  4. Stan, thank you for sharing. It’s given me something to think about and perhaps some day soon I’ll have an answer to your question.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      You honor and encourage me by your visits, Terri. There’s no pressure here to pour out your heart and thoughts in a comment. I savor all the comments. “Kilroy was here” is fine by me.

  5. Stan…what ever is going on for you …right now.. is powerful. I read this whilst listening to It was a most powerful sound track as I thought about God..the times I have felt in deep relationship. The times of silence, supplication, tears, prostration, awe, arrogance..or just general chit chat whilst walking down the street pouring my heart out into Gods ever willing and attentive ear. Then there are the times of distance, when every thing is cloudy, jumbled, self-contradictory and I am more fearful that loveful…at those times I’m sure I am Gods amusement. If this is a prelude to #nicheamnesty…I love where your heart is at. Way to bring it Stan…take no prisoners.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Stacey, That is an amazing song that you’ve pointed out: India.Arie – Ready For Love

      I am ready for Love! That’s what is going on with me. [smile]

      I’ll be back to comment more. Internet connection is off and on where I’m at. I’m at the Garana Jazz festival. Jazz is being served in a mountain forest clearing.

  6. Hi Stan,

    I was actually desperately trying to listen and yet I couldn’t hear anything, until you made this… as always at the right moment.
    I’m glad you still follow the right path.


    • Stan Faryna says:

      Danny, I’m glad this podcast/blogpost opened doors in your heart. I’m also glad to hear from you. It’s been so long, my friend. It’s been too long. You and me, we have things to do. Difficult and terrible things to face. Our demons and glory await us with a chagrin.

      But I can understand your hesitation.

      When I don’t hear anything, it’s because I don’t want to hear what’s being said. Because what’s being said isn’t what I want to hear.

      I ask, “where is my Ferrari, Lord? I’ve been wishing for one. Since I blew out the candles on my birthday cake when I was seven. It’s been Forever, Lord.” [grin]

      Every morning, I see more and more homeless people walking the streets as I walk to church in the morning. The numbers of the homeless are increasing. Men and women. Old and, yes, sometimes even children.

      “When will you help them, Stan? Don’t you see what’s going on? I’ve been waiting for you to do something about this. Forever.”

      This is not just an example. It’s how it happened. Just a few days ago. Just like this.

      Imagine how difficult it is to publicly admit how far I am from enlightenment. But it doesn’t suck as bad as I thought it would. [laughing] In the end, it doesn’t matter if I personally don’t own all the answers. But I know someone who does own all the answers. And they speak to me.

  7. Stan your answer to Danny made me take a deep intake of breath. I remember God speaking to me in pretty much the same tone a long time ago. I used to cook up pots of chilli con carne and package them in aluminium containers them give them out with a spoon and a bit of chit chat, to the local homeless men in my area…To be of service is our best achievement..whether we do it in the name of what ever God we serve…or just because we know in our heart it’s right. What do you want to bet that that Ferrari..will be alot closer to belonging to you..when you step out in faith and just make a pair of shoes..some coffee and a warm coat happen for someone else???

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Yes, Stacey – to be of service to others are the only accomplishments that count.

      I appreciate you.

  8. luminita says:

    Stan isn’t shallow like he seems to describe himself. I know he wants a Ferrari, but the Ferrari is a metaphor. It’s a metaphor for accomplishment. Buying the Ferrari isn’t the problem. Or, at least, it wasn’t the problem. It’s all the other things he has to do first before he allowed himself to buy it. All of those things are about helping other people. But he’s done so much for other people that you can’t begin to imagine. Someone needs to buy the Ferrari for him because he will never buy it for himself. I wish I could do that for him.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Oh – I too am shallow! I have my “blonde” moments too.

      Just try me. Play this song and see me nodding to the beat!

  9. Betsy Cross says:

    You’re a poet and a true artist. You see through the veil and are touched. The blessing you’ve created out of that is that you are able and willing to put into words what you see and feel. It’s so fun to sit here and “read” you! I don’t know enough about you, so I’ll ask. Have you written a book about your special perspective and journey? I’d read it.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      [big hug]

      Ohhh- Betsy. [cry] I was trying to write it. It’s couched in fiction. The first draft has stalled. It starts here:

      But your encouragement means the world to me. Thank you.

      I appreciate you.

  10. bonnie67 says:

    Hi Stan

    Wonderful post. I agree with Lumi you’re not shallow and you have done so much for so many people. I know some of them too!

    The more I read and listen to your pod casts the more I learn about you and from you and
    my heart gets opened more.

    You should write a book about your life. It would be one awesome book. Ever think that
    is what God wants you to share your life with everyone?

    The struggles and challenges you’ve been through? The view from the towers, palaces and high places that you had?

    I know you that you think that you are no one special. But you have the courage to speak from your heart and soul. Again and again, you face the deceptions and self-deceptions with a brave heart! If this isnt special and amazin, I dont know what is.

    Well once again I have to thank you and Marie for lifting me up out of the darkness that hit me again this week.

    Hugs Bonnie

  11. Yogizilla says:

    Wait.. I recognize this piano piece.. I want to say it’s Debussy or Satie but I am probably WAY off. I am rather bad with names, but I love moving musical scores and melodies. Ah, I am being taken to that special place that only few people can take me to.. Thank you, Stan.

    I am listening.

  12. Dear Stan… 🙂


    “You must be true. You must serve. You must give.

    This is to love.

    And the first duty of love? The first duty of love is to Listen.”

    I am listening.

    I hear God in the sermon on Sunday, but also in the things my kids tell me.

    I hear God in the sermon on Sunday, but also when I get a hug from a friend just when I needed it most.

    I hear God in the sermon on Sunday, but also when a great friend writes a blog post as if it was written just for me.

    Listening to you tonight made me cry and smile at the same time.

    We all need that book! Please finish it.

    *big hug*

  13. This is beautiful Stan, I love it!

  14. Beautiful and deeply moving are your words and I love the podcast production Stan.

    God does speak to us all the time but we are usually so busy thinking, talking and doing that we can’t hear. Just be still…. and hear…


  15. I’m very glad you stopped by my blog and were able to include a link (thanks to Livefyre) to this treasure. You’re right. God does speak to us. Why, then, don’t we listen? I think the answers are different depending on the circumstances in which we currently find ourselves. Those answers also can reflect that our priorities aren’t in the correct order and that it’s time to refocus.


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