‘There is a divine abyss within us all, a holy infinite centre, a heart, a life, who speaks in us and through us to the world'. (Thomas Kelly)
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is not about being 'directed'. It’s about being encouraged to draw closer to God in a more conscious experience of God's presence, grace and love in your daily life. In the midst of life we often find it difficult to notice God's action within it. And yet we yearn to be able to discern His presence and His voice at a deeper level. In the practice of spiritual direction you are given the time and space to reflect on the experiences of your daily living, and as this contemplation takes place, you begin to discern God's presence and the work that He is doing in your life.
Spiritual direction is about making a space for God in your life and this takes time and commitment as growth and transformation don't happen immediately. Your personal spiritual formation is a life-long journey. As this process unfolds you will grow deeper in intimacy with God and begin to live out the consequences of that relationship within the world. As God is present and active within the world, God’s story becomes your story, as you become partners in His divine mission for the world. You will come to discover a loving God who is at the centre of our lives and not at the periphery as you begin a life of discernment to His presence.
All of us need spiritual companions and friendships on our journey of faith and spiritual direction provides this; a private, safe and confidential space whereby you can attend to the presence of God in your everyday life. Together we explore ways in which you can open yourself more fully to the presence of God through prayer, meditation and other forms of spiritual disciplines. It is a time of reflection and seeking God in the midst of life, and of drawing closer and deeper in relationship with Him. This process unfolds under the direction and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Is it Biblical?
Scripture shows mentoring relationships such as Paul and Timothy. Spiritual guidance can also be found in the New Testament in the form of the Epistles and this practice dates back to the earliest days of the Church. The early Church Fathers such as Basil and Augustine wrote letters of spiritual guidance and counsel. The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the fourth and fifth centuries provided Spiritual Direction to thousands of people seeking increased holiness in their everyday lives. The Protestant Reformers were also active in providing spiritual advice generally in the form of letters. It remained strong in Post-Reformation Christianity with the help of people such as Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila. Today there is an increasing interest in Spiritual Direction and we have seen its revival, as people are embracing this time honoured practice.
Join us on your spiritual journey...........
Below are four educational interviews from wise, diverse leaders and teachers in the global learning community of Spiritual Directors International. These will help you to learn more about the value and benefits found in spiritual direction and contemplative practice.
Rev. Margaret Guenther and Christopher McCauley speak candidly about the power of our life stories, mutual listening, human brokenness, and God who is love.
Kristen Hobby, is a spiritual director in Melbourne, Australia and she describes formal as well as informal spiritual guidance and answers the question, "Who would benefit from spiritual direction?"
Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province, and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. SDI Learns from … Fr Richard Rohr, OFM, and Christianne Squires.
Alexandra Kovats, CSJP teaches at Seattle University in Washington, USA. She shares her understanding of ecological spirituality as it relates to God's peace and the value of spiritual direction. Alexandra offers spiritual retreats and spiritual direction around the world.