The importance of dialogue

Here is a translated transcript of another speech given by Joseph Bastin.

Today let’s talk about the importance of dialogue.

I can confess you that my biggest problem was lack of dialogue.

With my father I had no dialogue. I feared him. We did not speak with each other.

The first time I managed to speak with him was when I was geographically most distant from him, when I was in Australia.

We spoke to each other using audio cassettes.

And it worked very well.

And as soon as we were close to each other, things were more difficult.

Another example was when a person whom I loved much and who had promised to visit me, finally didn’t come. And this made me depressive.

I have also had the hurting experience of friends who had been very close to me, but then turned away and stopped to speak with me.

So the communication was broken. They ignored me. The other group had decided to no longer speak with me.

And what I discovered through these experiences is that just dialogue is what heals these wounds.

Dialogue is an art.

To discover this, I first had to live several years with mentally disabled people.

Through them I learned how to communicate with a poor.

Communication starts by listening, by presence.

A second experience was when I lived as a hermit in silence.

During this time I experienced God as the one who dialogues. And who heals me.

But healing was possible only by forgiving.

Because when you don’t forgive, then you block dialogue.

And therefore I now try to dialogue as much as possible with other people, using a true dialogue.

But I can tell you that it is not easy.

I will always remain a beginner with this.

But what a joy is it when somebody who has been silent during years restarts to speak with you!

When you restart to be true to each other.

And you are glad to meet again, and you say “Yes, we misunderstood each other”

The first thing when you want to speak is to learn to listen.

Without interrupting the other continuously.

Otherwise there is no dialogue. Otherwise you listen to yourself, not to the other.

And I furthermore believe that a true dialogue can succeed only when we are also in contact with the one who is dialogue in person.

Jesus is the one who was the master of dialogue.

Jesus was not somebody who practised monologue.

When he spoke, he addressed somebody and expected an answer.

Answering does not mean to simply say “amen”.

God is the one who listens. Who listens in a fully attentive way. He doesn’t lose a single word.

He registers every single word. Because his love is so big.

Here we are, my friends, I invite you to dialogue. To dialogue in a true and authentic way.

Translated Sunday, December 26, 2021 (19:07).