A few years ago, I enrolled in a Spiritual Direction Training program.
This decision was the culmination of a great deal of discernment and searching, in which I concluded that I needed some official acknowledgement and further growth in an aspect of life that was second nature to me.
Maybe even first nature.
And so, I began my two-year adventure with the Sacred Journey Spiritual Companioning School.
Those years opened my heart and mind, stretched my soul, and introduced me to new friends whom I respect and love.
In short, this era of my life bore great fruit.
Harvesting that fruit gave me hope that, perhaps a ministry of spiritual direction would be a great way to spend my retirement.
At the very least, I knew that some official training could only help me in the day to day ministry efforts in parish life.
And so it has.
But lately, I sense a new movement, almost as though the word is out, radar has been unleashed, and I am a walking neon sign advertising “direction to all who enter here.”
I am not complaining, not at all.
What I feel right now, however, is a sense of carrying, toting, sharing the load of so many in need.
I can let it go, give it into God’s loving arms. Easily in fact.
What I am moved to is a stance of humble reflection:
- My life is so extremely blessed
- I am surrounded by a community of real people striving to live with genuine integrity
- Those lives are really messy
- Heartache knows no bounds, gender, economic strata or anything else
- We are all extraordinarily human, vulnerable and in need of love
- God is in the midst of it all, arms open wide, warm in embrace and never ending in invitation and love.
So tonight, I lift all of these companions in life, in seeking and in hoping, to the one who is love.
Tomorrow, we shall begin anew, more stories, more tears, more prayer and more love.