Something to ponder…
At certain times in our lives we may find that we need a spiritual nudge. We might be looking for – support, encouragement, and an opportunity to share with another person the discoveries and challenges of our spiritual journey. That’s when we might want to talk with a spiritual director.
What Is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction originated as spiritual mentoring in monasteries, but it is now offered by retreat centers, congregations, and individuals. It is a unique one-to-one relationship in which a trained person assists another person in the search for ever-closer connections with God (however you might call the “something more” beyond yourself), to your true self, and to those in the world around you.
Spiritual Direction encourages you to explore a deeper relationship with the spiritual dimensions of human existence by telling your own sacred story.
Spiritual Direction today is often called “Spiritual Companioning.” It is more about “holy listening” than of providing “direction” in the sense of offering instructions, assignments, or direct advice, although that sometimes happens and can be requested. A spiritual director listens carefully to the unfolding of your life to help you discern the ways you are being led to a deeper and richer life.
Spiritual Direction is a unique kind of mentoring. It is not psychotherapy, because it is not so focused on your relational life, or strengthening your ego, or solving your problems, although all of those things may arise in a conversation about your spirituality. Your spiritual life is underneath all aspects of you, and as your spiritual life develops, it becomes the foundation for growth in every area of your life.
As you move forward, your spiritual director will help you notice when Kindness or Wisdom or Love or Grace in their many guises are flowing your way. It sounds like a conversation between friends, and it is, but the spiritual director has a wide-angle lens, a dual focus on both the immediate words and the larger Message. As themes emerge in the conversation and particular incidents are shared, the wider lens catches small and large surprises which open up the ways that Spirit is blessing you.
Find a spiritual director with whom you are comfortable. Appointments are set up in advance and generally last between 45 minutes and one hour. Sometimes, meetings are scheduled monthly, and sometimes, bi-monthly, as desired. There are mutual expectations between the spiritual director and the directee: Confidentiality, a commitment to appointment times, respect, honesty, and adherence to the highest ethical standards, to name a few.
If you would like more information about Spiritual Direction, please contact Nancy Mason Bordley, Spirituality@SJFCUP.com
This service is provided to SJF members free of charge. For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact Nancy Mason Bordley at Spirituality@sjfcup.org