Awakening the Energies of Love

Today’s post is by Patricia Farrell

I think the most important qualification for a spiritual director is the commitment to a lifestyle of spiritual deepening. One of the very important things I learned, experientially, in the Shalem program is that doing spiritual direction is about the way I live my life every day. My own availability to God and openness to the resulting process of conversion and transformation is the well from which the capacity to accompany others springs. I cannot do this work without making contemplative engagement central in my life. I am finding a flow and mutuality between God’s presence and movement in me and in the directee. For the directee, as well, a sincere commitment to seeking God and openness to sharing that journey are basic qualifications for participation in the direction process.

In our current religious and cultural milieu, there is a deepening crisis of tolerance and civility—reflective, I believe, of the fear underlying the breakdown of structures, institutions, and those attitudes and ways of living that spring from a dying paradigm and a level of consciousness humanity is outgrowing. When there is no evident way forward, the only way is down. We must find our way forward from a deeper inner leading. Contemplation is the seedbed of a new consciousness, the work of Spirit in our time. It is already gestating and needs our collective tending. Together we urge one another in awakening the energies of love.

Spiritual direction, both at the individual and group levels, provides the space for nurturing the unfolding of a new consciousness. It is also a space where people can bring their crises, their mourning, their fears and longings and discover God’s leading in the midst of it. Spiritual accompaniment supports people in yielding the direction of their lives to God’s deepening of what is most authentically human and therefore most deeply spiritual. It is urgently called for in these times that need people capable of helping humanity transition toward recognizing our fundamental unity.

Individual accompaniment in these transitional times is particularly significant as a place to honestly explore spiritual experience that does not feel in sync with others. I have done a little work with group spiritual direction and found it to be very significant in this context. It creates the possibility for people of very differing political and/or religious convictions to connect with one another out of a spiritual depth, allowing them to experience their oneness at a level capable of transcending other differences.

This blog is excerpted from one of Pat’s program papers. Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program is enrolling now!

January 01, 2019 by Patricia Farrell
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