Opening Up Spiritual Direction – Russell Bartlett
Who do you talk to? – Opening up Spiritual Direction
Who do you talk to …
about the important things in your life?
… the dynamics in your key relationships … the sense that there’s a calling to something not yet realised … the struggles that invade your thought processes … the discoveries that you’re finding in the scriptures … the longings for more spiritual reality … the highs and lows of your actual prayer experience …
It’s possible to be talking with many people in the different arenas of our lives – with family, friends, work colleagues, even pastors – and yet these important questions don’t get expressed and explored.
There IS one particular ministry that provides a safe place where these important issues are the focus of the conversation.
It is the ministry of spiritual direction.
In spiritual direction, one person, the spiritual director meets on a regular basis with another (the directee) with the primary purpose of listening to the story and experience of the directee. The term ‘spiritual direction’ is in some ways a misnomer. It’s not at all about telling a person what to do, but rather drawing the person’s attention to God’s presence, workings and invitations in the reality of their life. A spiritual director listens with one ear to God and the other to the directee, always encouraging the directee to recognise where God can be found throughout the journey.
Consider how Eugene Peterson expresses the appeal of spiritual direction*:
- A spiritual director is someone who is able to hear the distinct uniqueness of my spirituality, not imposing an outside form on me
- A spiritual director expresses interest in who I am (more than what I do) and directs attention to what is (not what ought to be), thus enhancing my reflection
- In spiritual direction we cultivate an attitude of awe, we develop a capacity for adoration and joy, we grow in our orientation towards God, looking for God’s grace
- Spiritual direction is conducted in a growing awareness that it takes place in God’s active presence, that our conversation with our director is therefore always conditioned by God’s own speaking and listening, His being there
*Adapted from https://imagodeicommunity.ca/on-spiritual-issues/on-spiritual-direction-by-eugene-peterson/
Would you like to know more? Learn more about spiritual direction and becoming a spiritual director? See the flyer enclosed.
Please do call me if you would like to discuss further – 0403 177 157.
Head of Spiritual Direction