By: Cindy Burger
I am currently re-reading Radical Hospitality: Benedict’s Way of Love by Father Daniel Homan, O.S.B., and Lonnie Collins Pratt. The following words in the book’s introduction jumped off the page. It seemed like Holy Spirit printed them in bold print before my eyes.
“This is the core of monastic life. Listen. At the beginning, you are invited to open your ears, open your heart, and listen for wisdom, listen for a Voice, listen for the morethat is woven into all that is. That is what we invite you to do: listen.
This quote from Radical Hospitality, in my opinion, perfectly describes the dual intention of spiritual direction. As spiritual directors, we listen to God while we listen to you. Together, we open our ears and hearts and listen to the wisdom of the Voice that whispers our name. Together, we listen for “the more” that is woven into all that is.
I believe that “listening” is a gift on the road to healing. Allow me to share a brief story from my own experience in a homeless ministry. One day I was working in a homeless shelter and I asked a stoic homeless veteran a simple question. I asked him how he was doing. He pointed out later, that it took him five minutes before he realized I was still standing there waiting for his answer. He shared that people often passed by him on the street without so much as a hello so he had long since given up on anyone asking how he was. It was the radical hospitality of my waiting presence, which opened the door to share his full truth with God and me. The simple gift of listening started him down the road of healing.
You might agree with me when I say the world today lacks the “listening” we all need. The noise of politics, news stories, video feeds and a long list of apps and widgets, drowns the quiet whisper of the Holy in our lives. You might also agree that our world is deeply in need of healing.
A simple question. What do you want to say? We are here to listen. We welcome you on the journey of healing, wholeness and holiness. Take your time. We will wait until you are ready to answer.
Holy Listening is a place of radical hospitality and healing. If you would like to begin the journey of Holy Listening, contact our spiritual directors here.
Blessings on the road,