Saturday, March 14, 2015

On Spiritual Direction and Mentorship

An excerpt from Glenn Peoples:

Let me sum up the difference between two ways of thinking about spiritual direction. The first is a way that you will encounter in Anglican Christianity – and in many modern Catholic parishes too. It does not represent a traditional Anglican way of doing things, but you’ll certainly find it today: “Alright, here is a book of some advice on spiritual direction, but first and foremost, let me say (if I may) that there are many ways of going about this, and please please please don’t hear me as saying that the way I will suggest is right. I wouldn’t want that. Gosh, there is a fabulous colourful array of equally OK ways of going about this, and a pick n mix of traditions to celebrate. Here’s a flower.”
Now, here’s another way of approaching this. When I look at this way, I recognize my own way of thinking. This is the way of people like Ignatius of Loyola approached spiritual discipline, and I’ll sum it up like this: “I’m going to tell you how to do this. It’s important, so listen carefully.”
Contrary to what some trendy airheads say, this is not “a relationship, not a religion.” It’s a religion (which doesn’t mean that it’s not a relationship). There is a point to the earliest Christian Creed, “Jesus is Lord.” He’s not simply your travelling companion, your friend, or somebody to help you find your own way. He is the way. Christianity isn’t a “pick a path” book (remember those?). This is an arrangement where God says “this is the way. Walk in it.”

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