Creating a Loving Container through Listening

Each of us is created with a unique purpose in life. The Divine spark within us longs to live out that purpose, to become fully and wholly itself, and express itself in the world. If we nurture our soul and seek God’s purpose for our life, the soul blossoms and grows in whatever way it needs, often in very surprising ways.

In addition, something in each of us rejoices when we witness the soul of another person blossom and unfold into what they were created to be. An Anam Cara—Gaelic for soul friend—is a person who will support the blossoming and ripening of your soul. And to be an Anam Cara is one of the most rewarding ways to be human.

Listening deeply is a way of creating a container so that another person’s soul can grow in this way. When we listen prayerfully to another person, we create a positive container that provides safety and encouragement. The container provides the energy and love God wants each of us to have. Within this nourishing container, the soul can wake up, stretch, and fly. The soul can find its purpose and move towards action in the world.

Intentional small groups within the context of a spiritual community can be a place to find soul friends, and to be one. The back and forth of taking turns, deeply listening, and being listened to by others can bring us closer to authentic community and to God.

At St. Mary’s, we offer the opportunity for each person who wants it to be in at least one small group. I have found that what makes small groups go well over time is encouragement and support of leadership. Any person who is interested in making things go better around themselves, from regular suppers with other parishioners to solving the world’s biggest challenges, will benefit from being with others who are interested in the same.

Please join me and your friends for our monthly leadership training and support group. The next group will meet Sunday, November 11, 4-6 PM, in the Guild Room. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact me at