We come forth from God, we are going back to God,
and in between we learn how to share in the Infinite Circle of Love
Spiritual Companioning is also called “spiritual direction”. The Holy Spirit is the real Spiritual Director.
The process is called “Spiritual” because it is about focusing on the movement and prodding of God, and “Direction” because following God implies going in a particular direction on the life journey.
Spiritual Direction is a process of “window-washing” the soul, so the person coming to the meeting (the “directee”) can see more clearly.
The time together helps the directee to deepen, strengthen and embrace their relationship with God, and to respond to these movements in freedom.
It is an on-going one-to-one relationship of deep listening to the movement of God and the Holy’s “still small voice”.
In this way, the Spiritual Direction process leads the directee into perceiving more contemplatively, rather than simply “thinking”.
Life presents with many moments that can be portals, through which we can drop into awareness of the presence of the Holy within the ordinary.
Spiritual direction takes the time to look at these moments that can be a shining forth of eternity in ordinary people, and in often unnoticed events and things.
The Spiritual Direction relationship becomes an opportunity for the directee and director to share a word of help, a message of encouragement, and a glimpse of eternity.
The Spiritual Director is like a midwife, by keeping the focus upon
Who is God for you?
What is God like for you?
Where do you sense the presence/absence of God?
Into what is God inviting you?
The Director’s role is to help shift the person from preoccupation with “How am I doing?” to “Who is God wanting to be for me at this moment?” Spiritual Direction helps a person to “taste life twice” by exploring experiences of God’s invitations.
The director and directee together listen contemplatively – through noticing but not judging interior reactions.
The director also draws the directee’s attention to what happens within them when there is the “pull” of a contemplative moment.
The director does not create the relationship between the directee and God; he or she fosters the existing relationship. It is finally up to the directee to own any insights or decide a course of action. It is helpful to have a mutual assessment every few months.
Continued involvement is at the discretion of both parties. Confidentiality is of the utmost importance.
Spiritual Direction assumes some degree of psychological health in one’s life. It is for those ready to work at their calling to deepen their God-relationship.
Motivation is not up to the director, and the call into deeper maturing needs to be there already within the directee.
It is helpful to remember that the relationship is not a friendship, nor a mutual sharing of each other’s faith journey. Rather, the focus is always upon how God is desiring to become more central in the directee’s life.
The director acts as a lens, for the directee to focus on the their God-relationship. Spiritual Direction (unlike pastoral counselling) always happens within the context of prayer.
The director helps the directee to identify how they (the directee) may have sought fulfilment from sources other than in God – thereby becoming shy of God’s walking with them.
Spiritual Direction is helpful when someone senses that a crisis for them is more spiritual than psychological. That is, they may consciously feel a disconnection from God. Alternatively, there may be a new sense of God’s activity, and they desire to co-operate more fully with this. Therapy and spiritual direction often can work side by side, according to the directee’s capacities and energies. Referral to resources outside the spiritual direction relationship can be helpful: for example, books or workshops.
If you are interested in walking in a spiritual companioning relationship,
contact Patrick on 0408 062676.