Communion and Communication

Next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” ~C.S. Lewis

In reading The Problem of Pain, Audrey ran across a simple sentence that started her thinking along brand new lines about this thing we call “communication.” Communication is an idea that we speak about incessantly, that we attend counseling, life coaching and seminars to gain. It’s something we say we’re practicing and getting better at. It’s something we believe will fix our relationships, our businesses and our international relations. 

But what if, amidst all this talking and training and obsessing about communication, we just fundamentally misunderstand what it is? What if, given a little bit different perspective, we could see ourselves and others so differently that “communication” would become something we actually know how to do – and can do well? 

In this podcast, Audrey shares recent insights she’s had about the true nature and meaning of communication that are shifting how she thinks about God, about herself and about all her relationships. 

Listener’s Guide:

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast. 

5:43      The sentence which began it all
Definitions matter
10:00   The connection between communication and love
13:04    How true communication/communion impacts us 

20:00   Important questions to ask

Quotes from this episode:

“I have tried to assume nothing that is not professed by all baptized and communicating Christians.~C. S. Lewis

“By the goodness of God we mean nowadays, almost exclusively his lovingness and may be right. But in this context most of us mean kindness…We want…not so much a Father in Heaven as a Grandfather in Heaven…who likes to see young people enjoying themselves and who planned…that it might be truly said at the end of the day, ‘A good time was had by all.’ I should very much like to live in a universe…grounded on such lines but since it is abundantly clear that I don’t and since I have reason to believe…God is love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction. ~C. S. Lewis

“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” ~M. Scott Peck

“The principal form that the work of love takes is attention.” ~M. Scott Peck

“If we listen enough to our children and well enough, we will begin to understand what extraordinary beings they are. The more you know about the child the better able you will be to teach. This is a cycle. Value begets value and love begets love.” ~M. Scott Peck

“True listening, total concentration on the other is always a manifestation of love. An essential part of true listening is the discipline of temporarily giving up or setting aside one’s own prejudices, frames of reference and desires, so as to experience…the speaker’s world from inside…This unification of speaker and listener is actually an extension and enlargement of one’s self and new knowledge is always gained from this. Moreover, since true listening involves this attention to the setting aside of the self…it involves a total acceptance of the other.” ~M. Scott Peck   

“When we are communing with God we are thinking more about the attention we are paying to Him.” ~Audrey Rindlisbacher

“It may be possible for each of us to think too much of his own potential…It is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbor. The…burden of my neighbor’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of potential Gods and Goddesses… To remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person…may one day be a creature which you would be …tempted to worship or who else might be a horror and corruption such as you would only meet in a nightmare. All day long we are, in one degree or another, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations, to Heaven or to Hell.” ~C. S. Lewis

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. It is immortals who we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit. Next to the blessed sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” ~C. S. Lewis

“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” ~Stephen Covey

Children desperately want to open up, even more to their parents than to their peers. And they will if they feel their parents will love them unconditionally and will be faithful to them afterward and not judge or ridicule them. That’s one very important reason technique alone will not work. That kind of understanding transcends technique. Isolated technique only gets in the way.” ~Stephen Covey

The real key to your influence with me is your example, your actual conduct.” ~Stephen Covey

“Unless you’re influenced by my uniqueness, I’m not going to be influenced by your advice.” ~Stephen Covey 

“Empathic listening is risky. It takes a great deal of security to go into a deep listening experience because you open yourself up to be influenced. You become vulnerable. It’s a paradox, in a sense, because in order to have influence, you have to be influenced. That means you have to really understand.” ~Stephen Covey

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