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NCR: Listening with Franciscan ears


I learned to listen at the Double Door Inn.


Many times I'd step into that ramshackle music venue in Charlotte, North Carolina, carrying the weight of all my overthinking, in need of some blues, jazz or soul to help me return to myself. To get back into my body. To reawaken my senses. To reconnect to that heart of mine I had constructed walls around. Time and again that house of rising sounds lifted my soul into what is real.


Ancient Celts had a name for spaces like this. They called them "thin places," where heaven bends down to kiss the earth. For me it's often music that courses through the terrain of thin places, inviting me to listen to that "one central tonic note to which every other sound ascends or descends, to which every other meaning aspires, in order to find its true fulfillment," as Thomas Merton once wrote. Powerful music, authentic spaces, thin places, help us tune our ears to truths rising from the core of reality...


The remainder of the story can be accessed HERE. This story was originally published in the Oct. 13-26 print issue of the National Catholic Reporter.

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