On conversion through deep listening

“Listening must become the very lifeblood of the Church. This is the medicine for the disease of power devastating the Church—a remedy that is not so easy to swallow. This listening demands a new humility. It is listening to the other not simply to be informed of their reality. Rather, it means listening in silence and asking how what I hear reveals the Spirit to me…a willingness to hear truths that may change how [we] minister. The voices of others, especially the victimized, excluded, marginalized and denigrated can restore the Church from its disease of power, but only when we, with power, internalize this process of listening. Requiring historical “unlearning” of privilege, this process demands nurturing and careful practice. To become a Listening Church of conversion, we need to create structures of dialogue at every level. We need to accept our own personal fallibility and so enter into any dialogue with a little [a lot![ less certainty of our positions and a little [a lot!] more openness to the other.

This…is a time for us…to re-build the Church as a community of listeners perpetually converted by the gift of the Holy Spirit.”



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