Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This morning I have been thinking about communication. I need to send some information to our oblate community about what is going on in the monastery. It takes some careful thought and conversation with various people to know exactly what to say and how to say it.

Communication is critical to creating and sustaining community. Even more than that communication is what makes us human. It creates, and sometimes destroys, relationships. If we withhold communication we hold people at a distance, we don’t let them into our lives, we convey the idea they aren’t important. But sometimes the opposite occurs. We can give people too much information, we flood them with news to the point they are overwhelmed and drowning. It is a case of TMI, “too much information.”

The problem in each case is that we are centered on ourselves, not the other person. If I withhold communication it is because I am putting my own needs, my own lack of trust first, rather than believing that other people care and want to know what’s going on. If I overwhelm them with information I am also acting like I am the center of everyone else’s universe as well as my own. I forget that people are kind, supportive, but they have their own lives to lead.
Ultimately our communication needs to model that of God. The ultimate word, the ultimate communication, was God’s word in Christ, the Logos, the Word. God communicated God’s very self in the incarnation of Jesus. God spoke in the form of flesh, the flesh that came and dwelt among us. God communicated, spoke, with deep, unassuming care, out of an unfathomable love. God’s love in Christ respected the needs of all while sharing their burdens and suffering with them unto death.

May our word to one another echo the Word that is God’s presence in our lives.

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