Service for Unity,
Thursday, December, 9th, 2021


Listening and dialogue: paths of humanity

Today, listening and dialogue are in the spotlight and many listening techniques are made available to the public. For example, many young couples ask to deepen this dimension. If listening and dialogue are the foundation of love in the couple and the family, they are given to us for all social life, for all ecclesial life. We also grow in proportion to the listening and dialogue that we experienced in our childhood. The human being is relation, he is communication, he is speech. But the word is expressed through the whole human being. It is not without reason that God made himself Word, the Incarnate Word, the Logos. But it is the whole being of Jesus who reveals the Father to us. There is nothing to say except for an ear that listens, a gaze that contemplates, a heart that is attentive. This is the source of all dialogue. As the Greek root of the term “dialogue” means, it is indeed the word between two people.
Human wisdom has often translated the importance but also the difficulty of listening into proverbs. There is a saying that “nature has given us two ears and only one tongue so that we can listen more and speak less”. “Whoever speaks sows, who listens to harvest”, adds another Persian proverb. […]. Learning to listen to someone is sometimes the greatest gift we can give them. However, let us remember that the ear hears but only the heart truly listens. Genuine love is commensurate with listening to one another. While listening has a psychological, and even therapeutic, dimension, it also has a spiritual dimension. It is a fundamental dimension of the human being.

Mgr Jean-Claude Boulanger, Le Chemin de Nazareth, une spiritualité au quotidien, Desclée de Brouwer, 2002, pp. 58-59


Prepared by our brothers and sisters from Roucas, Marseille, France

To be used as appropriate

1 / The diocese of Marseille has agreed to welcome a family of Syrian refugees repatriated thanks to the Community of Sant ‘Egidio. Our fraternity was able to contribute to this welcome and to measure the tragedy experienced by these families.
Lord continues to open our hearts to these brothers deprived of everything, do not allow us to be insensitive to these tragedies. We ask you to give your strength to all those who mobilize to help them. May their courage and daring awaken our accustomed hearts.

2. The Middle East Council of Churches has chosen and developed the theme of the week of prayer for Christian Unity which will begin in January: “We have seen his star in the East and we have come to pay homage to him” . In Marseille, the Chemin Neuf Community is getting closer to the Christians of the Eastern Churches by preparing a common celebration.
Lord, inspire us in these contacts and open our hearts to these encounters with our brothers and sisters from this troubled region, a region in which you have chosen to take our flesh and share our human condition.

3. In his speech to the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Orthodox Church on December 3, Pope Francis renewed his desire to deepen ecumenical dialogue, taking as a model Barnabas who evangelized the island from the first century after Jesus -Christ. For his part, Archimandrite Ignace Sotiriadis, secretary for external affairs of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, said that “this visit smoothes the way towards the future unification of Christians”, while inviting patience.
Lord, following the example of Barnabas, the son of consolation, gives our Catholic and Orthodox Churches in Cyprus, Greece and everywhere in the world, to cooperate in the mission of bringing the Gospel to men and of “consoling” all our human brothers in need.