Last Monday I tossed about some thoughts and reflections of my experience with a spiritual director/guide/companion.
A bit more on this topic today:
I live in a world that values independence, individuality and the self.
These are not bad values when they are kept in balance with a communal ethos.
Thus, as John Donne once penned: “No man is an island.”
[May I emend this infamous quote to say that, no one is an island?]
We have a basic need for the company of each other.
We ache for community.
The Catholic Christian tradition (of which I am a part) calls this basic desire by many names. The Body of Christ, the Pilgrim Church, the Communion of Saints are a few treasured metaphors for community in Christ and each other.
We also require space for the self to ponder, process, grow.
Into this space, I invite another to walk with me, to be my spiritual companion.
I rely upon the ear, wisdom, questions and challenges of this trusted soul guide to help me seek the Divine, to recognize God’s love around and within me, and to discern the movement and invitation of the Holy Spirit in my living.
I simply cannot do this great work of growth by myself!
Stepping into the role of companioning one on this sacred journey is the calling of the Spiritual Guide.
The Christian tradition is steeped in the vocation and ministry of the Spiritual Guide (a.k.a. Director/Companion). My knowledge of the various spiritual and religious traditions outside of Christianity is not deep, but I must imagine that such Spiritual Companions exist in these frameworks as well.
It only makes sense to me that we all would confide our deepest questions, and wonder out loud about that whom we name as God, in the presence of another human being.
In the Christian Scriptures, Jesus proclaims that, “ For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” [Matt 18:20 NRSV]
This presence, evidenced in the companionship of a Spiritual Director is my consolation as I continue to wander along the Spiritual path…