Listening is an essential part of my ministry, drawing me deeper into
both my professional work and my personal growth as a converted Catholic. By
listening, I can begin to discern the call of the Spirit and hear the needs of others in
the challenging moments of our world today.
As part of my Master of Divinity course work at Loyola University - Chicago, I had an
opportunity to be part of a conversation with Angus Ritchie, Director of the Centre for
Theology and Community in London, author, and Anglican priest. Ritchie advocated
for what he called “double listening” where we listen not only to our internal urge to
serve others but also to the needs of those we feel called to serve. He said that too
often we act on what we believe is a call to serve, listening only to our internal
longings, without asking what is really needed among those with whom we minister.
I believe I am called to that double listening that Ritchie described. I also believe that it
is only through listening to Spirit, self, and others that collaboration, community,
unity, and voice emerge.
One of the sisters I worked with once said, “When we begin to listen to one another…
our world is changed.” My ministry is to listen so that I can be part of positive change.