This post was originally published on the Capuchin Franciscan Vocation Blog:
I have had the privilege of meeting at least a few people who I would consider to be very “holy” in the classical sense of the term. There is a striking commonality to the experience of being with these people. This commonality is that it is always a joy to talk to them!
There is a reason for this: holy people are able to look beyond themselves. The focus of conversation with a holy person is rarely on that person themself, and more often that not it is focused on you. They are well-trained in the school of love. Their whole life is a work of love for the Other, whether that Other is Christ or their neighbor. Thus, they naturally orient their conversation towards the other person.
As it is, our daily conversations very often revolve around our own ego. At times we cannot even be sure whether our motives for engaging another person in conversation are in fact selfish.
Yet, we have all had a taste of genuine encounter. There have been at least some people in our lives who have embodied this “Other-focused” orientation.
I pray that we all may recount those people who have exemplified this mode of living, and imitate their example.
“Only if there is love, if hearts are opened, can one person truly know the other.” – Pope Benedict XVI