The arts of communication & conversion


Good communication is perhaps the hardest art for almost all of us. God has given us the great powers of reason and will, but to correctly and respectfully express our thoughts and desires to each other is really difficult! Many times it is so difficult, that we humans opt to not communicate at all. For example, when others request things from us and we don’t want to take them on (for all sorts of reasons), instead of simply saying, “Sorry, I can’t do that”, or “I’m sorry, I really don’t want to do that,” we might just leave the request “out there”, assuming that “silence means no”, which really isn’t accurate, and is actually just a little rude.
We are Christians in the middle of the world, and that means we have to communicate, the good news, and the “bad news” too. How many people have been harmed by not facing the truth because someone failed to communicate it to them! In a world where spins, cover-ups, excuses, willful ignorance seem to cover a multitude of sins, the heart knows better. That’s why in the sacrament of Confession we try to peel back the defenses, and sincerely face the reality of our sinfulness and seek out forgiveness, by speaking the truth and then receiving grace. That’s why the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32) will always be meaningful and attractive to us. Take a few moments, and meditate on it, or the Rolling Stone’s funky version from “Beggars Banquet”. I think it makes an excellent song theme on the arts of communication and conversion today.

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