What is Spiritual Direction?
"I encourage you, then, to make experience, not knowledge, your aim. Knowledge often leads to arrogance,
but this humble feeling never lies to you." Anonymous, The Cloud of Unknowing
Spiritual directors are also known as spiritual companions, mentors, or guides. I love the Gaelic name, anam cara, which means 'heart friend.' Spiritual direction is a space for you to not only explore questions and struggles, but an opportunity to experience God, maybe for the first time. We know God by participation in God, not by trying to figure out all the answers or please God from afar.
The purpose of spiritual companionship is to come closer to God. Often, however, we don't view God as someone we'd like to be close to. To many, God is an angry judge whose commands we must obey and standards we must live up to or we face hell. Our view of God is important, and together we can uncover what you really think of God and why. It is only then that you can see and embrace who God really is.
What Does An Hour With Me Look Like?
After greeting one another, I usually begin with lighting a candle, the flame as a reminder that God is present. After a few words, I include a minute of silence, either guided or unguided. (This depends on how comfortable you are with silence.) Then we talk, guided by the Holy Spirit, we explore anything you bring up for discussion. At the end I will pray with you and for you.
What Is Your Part in This Process?
Your part is to respond to what you "hear." After three or four sessions you will have the opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Our relationship could continue for many years, or just a short time. It depends on where you are and your needs. What is shared is always and forever held in confidence.
Thomas Merton tell us that, "The will of God is not a 'fate' to which we submit but a creative act in our life producing something absolutely new...something hitherto unforeseen...our cooperation consists... in opening our wills out to this creative act which must be retrieved in and by us." With a soul friend, you can explore what it is to cooperate in this creative act which is your life.