The Blessing Center is a non-profit charitable organization,
based in Dayton Ohio.

Holy Listening

The Blessing Center's initial practice of Holy Conversation was as a means of providing pastoral care to children. We caution that our brief descriptions here do not provide adequate training for offering care to a child in crisis.

A formal practice of Holy Listening has been used to great effect in pastoral care settings with children and teens. (See, in particular, The Rev. Dr. Leanne Hadley's thesis in archived items on this site.)

Holy listening / Holy conversation is a key component of Blessing Based Spiritual Nurture. By mindfully listening and speaking with our hearts full of love we can be truly connected to each other.

       Listen carefully to my words; let this be the consolation you give me. (Job 21:2)

A Holy conversation includes these characteristics:  mindfulness, honesty, lack of judgement, lack of accusation, willingness to share feelings. It honors the innocent open talk of children, the long winded explanation told by a lonely octogenarian, and everything in between. It tolerates anger and despair, hurt and fear, tenderness and joy. Most important, the holy part, is awareness that God is always present.

A regular time may be set aside for this exercise, or it can be employed on an as needed basis. "How was your day?"  "How are you?"  Routine questions will sometimes be all that's needed to begin. We have found, though, that Holy conversation can often be easier when it is set apart in a < space > where we've established a routine of acknowledging God's presence and/or we take advantage of < conversation cues > to help feelings come to the surface.

Our focus is on the use of Holy listening in the spiritual nurture and formation of children and teens.  However experience shows that it is a technique with broad application. Further, this conscious practice may lead to more frequent, intuitive use of Holy listening in all of our interactions.  That's a lovely spiral.