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[IPr] FW: [IP] Trained Spiritual Director



And yet another . . . 

Jim

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Handsfield, James H. [mailto:email @ redacted]
> Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2000 9:24 AM
> To: 'IP List'
> Subject: RE: [IP] Trained Spiritual Director
> 
> 
> email @ redacted wrote:
> 
> An excellent complement to what I wrote about spiritual 
> direction.  I would
> only clarify a couple of items:
> 
> > Notice that I 
> > said direction - 
> > not guidance.  There is an important distinction there.  A 
> > spiritual director 
> > is not a coach, nor necessarily even a friend.  
> 
> While you are correct that a spiritual director is not a 
> coach, a spiritual
> director is *always* a friend in the deepest sense (as your 
> later comments
> imply).  I don't mean a pal or buddy, but a true friend who has the
> directee's relationship with God foremost.  In fact, I will not direct
> someone with whom I have a "buddy" type relationship, because it is
> difficult to be objective.  It's much the same as one would find in a
> relationship with a therapist or counselor.  The boundaries have to be
> clear.
> 
> Perhaps a better way to say this is that Christ's commandment 
> to us all
> was/is to love one another.  That is not the same as liking 
> one another.  I
> expect my spiritual director to love me, whether he likes me 
> or not (I'm
> fortunate that he does, but that's irrelevant when we're in 
> direction mode).
> 
> > A special requirement is a 
> > gift or calling 
> > to this ministry - because the spiritual director has to 
> > invest a lot of time 
> > and effort into the people they are directing.  
> 
> It's more than the time invested.  It has to be a special 
> vocation or the
> relationships just won't work.  In the Russian Orthodox 
> tradition, a person
> knows he/she is called to be a spiritual director (staretz, 
> plural startsi)
> when others start coming for spiritual direction.  Although I 
> am trained, I
> have never "hung out my shingle", waiting instead until 
> others have sought
> me out.
> 
> And with respect to monastic vocation, I am a Companion of 
> the Society of
> St. Paul, a small religious order of the Episcopal Church 
> housed in Palm
> Desert, California.  The Companion's rule is similar to the rule of a
> Benedictine Oblate except that the Oblate takes a vow of celibacy.
> 
> I will finally point out that spiritual direction is not limited to
> Christian faith and may be useful for anyone seeking a deeper 
> relationship
> with God.
> 
> Jim Handsfield, CSSP
> mailto:email @ redacted OR
> mailto:email @ redacted
> 
> The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily 
> represent those of
> my wife who runs this house and makes more important 
> decisions than I do.
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