What Joan Told Me

I once had the distinct honor of introducing Joan Chittister before she gave a lecture. For those who don’t know her, Sister Chittister is a Benedictine nun, a fierce social justice warrior, and a prolific writer.

Before the program began, I had about two minutes alone with her backstage. I’m not sure where it came from, but she turned to me and said, “You know, Benjamin, I no longer worry about what I’m going to say. I just say what I think needs to be said and then I trust the Holy Spirit to communicate what needs to be heard.”

Uh, wow. It’s been 10 or so years since that happened and her words have stuck with me. To let go of the critical voice. To speak naturally from the center of one’s own being. To trust in one’s own words enough to say them. To trust the Spirit to communicate what needs to be heard. What a way to speak. What a way to write. What a way to live.

2 responses to “What Joan Told Me”

  1. Yes, What a way to live…not to worry about impressions, leading the parade, being right…just sharing one’s gifts with gratitude and humility.


  2. What an amazing mystery it all is. The Holy Spirit guiding your words and also the listeners ears. A friend of mine once said, “it seems like the pastor always writes the sermon just for me.” I said, “we all feel that way.” You’re not really just you when you take the pulpit, you become a kind of sacramental thin place.

    Liked by 1 person

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