Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Listening as Spiritual Hospitality

"To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

"Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you."

Henry Nouwen


Len Hjalmarson said...

Rod, I have used this lovely quote a few times also. Any idea where it originates? peace, grace to you..

Rod Janz said...

good question. i probably got it from one of his daily e-mail deotionals which came from one of his books. anyone else know?