Many of us feel a need and a hunger to find someone to help us on our Christian journey; to help us articulate, search out and trust to our questions. Who are we in our relationship with God? How do we pray? How do we live out our faith? What do we do when we feel we have fallen short?
These are some questions we may bring to spiritual companionship. Often called spiritual direction, this ministry is an ancient tradition within the Church. In today's individualistic and secularized western culture, more and more people are feeling a need for such companionship to help them satisfy that profound but unarticulated yearning for a deeper relationship with God that is so much a part of our humanity.
The prayerful support of a trusted spiritual companion who cares about us, but wants nothing from us, can set us free to know ourselves better as we reach out to grow in our relationship with God.
As Margaret Guenther in her book The Practice of Prayer writes: ... It remains for us to build on [this ancient tradition], and to work out a model of spiritual direction that is alive and meaningful for those in the “mixed life”—those who are psychologically aware, who are seekers, and who have no romantic illusions that they can or must be quasi-monastics as they cope with jobs, spouses, partners, children, taxes, and unpaid bills. (p. 94)
The Ministry of Holy Listening
Those offering spiritual companionship seek to help those they accompany to know the unconditional love and forgiveness of God, and to appreciate the activity of God in their life.
Telling the story of our lives, in a prayerful atmosphere with a trusted companion, helps us to recognize where and how God has been and continues to be present and active in that story.
As we reflect upon God’s activity in our life, and allow the spirit of God to shape us in the image of Christ through the ordinary events of everyday life, so we grow in discernment.
Spiritual Direction in the Sisterhood
Spiritual direction assists us to reflect upon God’s activity in our life and helps us grow in discernment. Within the context of a monastic house whose way of life is a balance in work, rest, prayer, and leisure, some of the Sisters and Associates offer the ministry of spiritual companionship. All who offer this ministry under our sponsorship follow a policy statement established by the Sisterhood, which requires our spiritual companions to be under regular spiritual direction themselves, and to be in a process of continuing education and training in this ministry.
If you are considering spiritual direction for yourself, you can e-mail our spiritual direction coordinator: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are often asked about our policy on payment for this ministry.
For those who are seeking an on-going spiritual director, the financial arrangement is decided between the person and the spiritual director. The usual fee is between $35 and $50, with meetings about once a month. Most spiritual directors have a flexible sliding scale based on ability to pay.
For those who desire to receive spiritual direction while on a retreat in the Guest House, the fee is $35 for each one-hour session, and it is paid directly to the Spiritual Director. Bursary assistance is available through the Guest House and no one is turned away who desires spiritual direction on retreat.
- Spiritual Directors International here »