"As a holy listener — the listening is holy, I am still me — I have to put myself out of the way, to become humble in the true sense of knowing my place in the order of God's creation. I must be disinterested, critical without being judgmental. And above all, I must be reverent, for I am entrusted with something precious and tender. As the stories are told, the vulnerability of both director and directee is apparent as masks fall off or are put aside. The director is invited to share in pain, hunger, courage, hope, joy, and holiness. . . .

"Above all, the holy listener is open to anything the directee might bring. She is willing to hear about darkness and desolation, the times of God's seeming absence and neglect. She is not frightened by another's anger, doubt, or fear, and she is comfortable with tears. This ministry of presence is a living out of intercessory prayer, as the holy listener waits and watches. Sometimes the listening takes place in the warmth of the stable, sometimes in the pure white light on the high mountain apart, sometimes in desolation at the foot of the cross, and sometimes with fear and great joy in the encounter with the risen Christ."