Friday, January 11, 2008

oxymoron: spiritual direction?

One of our ministries at the convent is spiritual direction. I was first introduced to the term years ago at a Cursillo weekend. I'd never heard of such a thing. Art direction, career counseling, therapy... those were familiar concepts. But spiritual direction? Shouldn't God be doing that? Well, duh, yes... but do we ever listen?

So it took listening to a human who was listening to me over several years worth of sessions to learn how important (and helpful) the process can be. In our community we actually require each sister to see a spiritual director and it may not be another sister. Space to vent, to speak your dreams, to confess to doubts, fears... with an objective listener, that's the key.

Nobody is totally objective, of course. And some directees are easier to listen to than others. That's the good news and the bad news. Good... because the director also grows as she learns patience and neutrality, bad... because learning those is a whole lot of work. Frustrating, exhausting. Not to mention humbling.

I met with a new directee this morning. What a joy. No growing edges on my patience there. Instead... growing in gratitude, hope, and confidence in God's way of working in the world. Not a bad return on my investment, as the stock traders would say...

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That's pretty awesome, I'd say. It's always good when you make a conscious decision to be open to growth... and then actively notice it happening. Good for you. And good for her.