You may have noticed that spiritual companioning is an important part of our programs at Companions on a Journey. Do you know why?
We believe that it is very helpful for most people to have someone to help them on their faith journey as they seek to deepen their relationship with God. Spiritual direction is a process that focuses on the relationship between a person and God through one-to-one spiritual companioning. Ultimately spiritual direction is meant to help a person with his or her relationship with God. Although it is not a counseling or therapeutic relationship, many find that spiritual direction is a helpful companion process to work happening in many aspects and settings of one's life.
Who is Spiritual Direction for? Anyone who is:
What is a Spiritual Director?
A spiritual director is a companion to another on his/her spiritual journey. When we need someone to hear our life story in terms of faith, a spiritual director offers hospitable and sacred space for us to speak and be heard. A spiritual director can "listen us into clarity," helping us articulate our thoughts, feelings, questions, and experiences in relation to God.
It takes practice to see the grace of God in everyday life. A spiritual director can be a mentor helping us pay attention to signs of grace, to listen for God's "still, small voice" in our daily encounters and experiences. A spiritual director can also guide our attentions to the dynamics of our heart, so that we can become more aware of how God speaks to us through it.
When we begin to notice God's presence, guidance, and challenge in our daily lives we are faced with choice. How shall we respond? God's presence is comforting, but God can also call us to a new sense of purpose and mission in life. Discerning those choices can be a challenge. A spiritual director guides the person to the blessings that God intends for him/her and enhances the discerning process by helping balance the choices.
Without the help of particular practices it is difficult to become more aware of and responsive to God's activity in our lives. A spiritual director can suggest various prayer practices to increase our awareness of the spirit in our midst.
The love of Christ is mediated by the care of a spiritual director. The ongoing expression of that care is faithful prayer by the spiritual director within and beyond meeting times.
How often do people meet with their spiritual director?
Frequency of visits varies with the person and with the happenings of one's life at a particular time. Some people come once a week, others every two weeks, some every month, or even less often. Most sessions last for one hour.
How does one go about finding a spiritual director?
We work with the Spirituality Center at Saint Benedict's Monastery (320-363-7116) and Abbey Guest Services at Saint John's Abbey (320-363-3929). You may call either center to arrange for spiritual direction on your own.
If you would like assistance, contact our office. If you have or know of a spiritual director you would like to work with submit their name to our office prior to your first session.
If you live outside the central Minnesota area you can find a listing of spiritual directors at Spiritual Directors International's Web site.
What are the qualifications of the Spiritual Directors?
The companions we will refer you to have been trained in recognized programs that follow the guiding principles and components of Spiritual Directors International (SDI). These components include:
- theological and psychological dimensions of direction
They have adopted the proposed ethical guidelines of SDI. The spiritual directors are committed to their own personal growth by seeking monthly spiritual direction and by active participation in a community of faith. They are also committed to ongoing professional growth by attending at least one continuing education event in the field each year, and by participating regularly in a supervision process.
To assure the best quality of care, the spiritual directors may consult with another spiritual director professionally. Any information shared in supervision or consultation is anonymous and held in strictest confidence. Outside of these settings nothing is shared without your written consent, except as required by law to protect you or another from serious harm. Your director is required by law to report known or suspected cases of abuse or neglect to children, the elderly, and the handicapped.
Does meeting with a certified spiritual director/director have a cost connected with it?
Spiritual direction usually costs between $35 and $45 for 1 session. Companions on a Journey and Corad: Heart Speaks to Heart offers this programming to CSB/SJU students and others involved with our Companioning programs, faculty and staff of CSB/SJU, and both monasteries at no cost. We will cover the cost up to $40 per session.
Requests for spiritual direction must be submitted to our office prior to the start of the sessions. You will need to renew your spiritual direction coverage if you would like to continue your spiritual direction sessions beyond 1 academic year. Renewals are due in August of each year spiritual direction is requested.
If you are interested in receiving spiritual direction please complete the Spiritual Direction Request form and submit it to our office prior to your first session.