Good Conversations require a person to ask: What is it that I believe? This practice of the Sisters of Charity integrates what a person believes into how one acts and how one speaks. One’s belief is revealed by the process used to engage with another person. Traveling together on this way of life includes both topics (the content) and the process (conversations).
As we conclude this month of prayer for the Care of Creation, we notice how integrated or separated our thoughts and concerns are from the way we act. For example, active listening welcomes, hears, receives, reflects, and then responds. Each one of those steps reveals to others how to converse. Are Good Conversations a way of deepening one’s faith, encouraging one’s hope, and fostering one’s love? Charity is practiced both in words and through deeds, which is the outcome of Good Conversations.
Since October 2021, Pope Francis has been inviting believers, and in particular, each one of us, into Good Conversations. Similar to his invitation in Laudato Si’ to care for creation, the Synod on Synodality seems more difficult to live out rather than to talk about, but that is not true. The exercise of synodality is one of good conversation, not one of critique, tearing down, breaking apart or judgement. We are invited into listening and learning; hearing, speaking, and receiving; reflecting and integrating: a process of transformation for self, institutions and structures.
In his language, Pope Francis asks the Church to “adapt listening and dialogue as a lifestyle at every level – and allow herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit toward the peripheries of the world.” It is daunting to allow oneself to hear, converse and reflect as a way of being in order to be directed to those who are marginalized.
Good Conversations: What do I believe? Could everyone, including all of creation, have in their voices the grace that helps me understand who I am and whose I am? How I enter the dialogue reveals what I believe about God, myself, others, and our created world. This process allows freedom for the Spirit to move in us, to overcome fears that paralyze us and to mend the brokenness that disables us. Discernment and consensus, like personal transformation, takes time. It does not occur through soundbites or quick judgement. Good Conversations call upon the Holy Spirit so we can welcome, hear, receive, reflect, and integrate the graces given to make our world a better home for all.
Join Us for Good Conversations
October 12, 2023
9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Marillac Assemlby Room
A time to nurture “what do you believe?” within an environment that teaches us how to listen and learn from one another in charity, to discover and celebrate the graces of others, and to move in hope as we build a better tomorrow.
Hosted by Father Kevin Cullen in Marillac Assembly Room, Marillac Center. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.