The Ministry of Spiritual Direction
Do you search for Gods direction in your life? Are you interested in developing a greater understanding of your spiritual journey? How do you determine if the choices you are making in your life are leading you to be the best person you can be? Spiritual direction can be a wonderful tool for your growth in these areas.
The ministry of Spiritual Direction is the companioning of a person who is seeking a closer relationship with God. The ministry is centered in listening for the gentle nudges or movements of the Holy Spirit in the everyday life of the one who seeks. As the seeker speaks of the events or concerns in their life they are guided prayerfully to begin to learn this way of holy listening, and can come to see themselves and their life in a new light, the light of Gods lively kingdom among us.
Within the deepest part of ourselves there is a voice waiting to be heard, and our hearts can learn to listen if we desire to hear it. The voice is the Holy Spirit of God who is present to us even in our unawareness. The Spirit of God who once hovered over the great abyss before creation, who hovered over the apostles as tongues of fire at Pentecost, now hovers over our lives awaiting our awareness.
Our Creator still works creatively in all of lifes circumstances bringing all things together for good to those who love God and are called according to Gods purpose as stated in chapter 8 of Romans. The Creation story reverberates through all of time. Through Gods creative hand, we are a continuation of the story. The Holy Spirit of God calls us to become and continue becoming the women and men we are intended to be. We can, with God, participate in our own creation story by looking for and responding to our spiritual direction.
A deep hunger for God has prompted contemporary Christians to seek companions to guide them as they search for the inspirations of Gods grace in their lives. These companions are called Spiritual Directors. The development of the tradition of Spiritual Direction dates back to the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries, when sincere women and men went into the deserts of Palestine, Syria and Egypt to seek out God in a very particular way. They wanted to become their true selves in Christ, and they felt drawn to solitude to explore the deep questions of life, death and eternity. These men and women were called the desert fathers and mothers: the abbas and ammas. Because of their holiness and example of their lifestyle, they found themselves sought out by many others for spiritual guidance. They were the first Spiritual Directors.
In continuing to practice this ministry today, spiritual directors understand that the true director is the Holy Spirit and that they are in a three-way relationship in their companioning, not a two way one. They are willing to open themselves to this work realizing that God works through their giftedness as well as their training. Spiritual Directors are men and women who are committed to prayer, study, and their own spiritual growth. They desire to be of some help to the souls of their brothers and sisters in Christ. They respect the individual journey of those who come to them, and their need to be self responsible. They will be trustworthy companions and non-judgmental soul friends for those who seek someone to confide in.
One who would come for spiritual direction would yearn to connect more deeply with God in their life, and desire greater self knowledge. The seeker is someone who has a willingness to explore new ways of spiritual growth, and someone who is willing to discipline themselves to a regular practice of prayer. This person would grow in the desire to respond to God by discerning and living out their purpose.
St. Catherines has several gifted parishioners that have received training in the ministry of Spiritual Direction, and with the blessing and support of our pastor, they are willing to serve any interested person in the parish.