Listening and Speaking
Teach me your way of looking at people:
as you glanced at Peter after his denial,
as you penetrated the heart of the rich young man
and the hearts of your disciples.
I would like to meet you as you really are,
since your image changes those with whom you
come into contact.
Remember John the Baptist’s first meeting with you?
And the centurion’s feeling of unworthiness?
And the amazement of all those who saw miracles
and other wonders?
How you impressed your disciples,
the rabble in the Garden of Olives,
Pilate and his wife
and the centurion at the foot of the cross. . . .
I would like to hear and be impressed
by your manner of speaking,
listening, for example, to your discourse in the
synagogue in Capharnaum
or the Sermon on the Mount where your audience
felt you “taught as one who has authority.”[i]
—Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Keywords: listening, speaking, hearing, perspective-taking, worthiness, teachability, authority, authenticity, audience-centeredness
* Special thanks to Mary Darling for sharing this prayer. If you have prayers for or about communication that you would like to contribute, please send to email@example.com.