December 25, 2023

Barefooted Faith Unstrap your sandals of sensibility and scarcity, and step forward gently toward a barefooted faith. Feel the cool breeze of peace Warm sunlight of joy Cleansing, patient rains And the kind coming of spring tend the roots of your soul. Each step an invitation to become and to bloom as you are. Each footprint an echo of your unique seeds of love for those who are and those yet to come. May sacred granules of goodness nurture your... Read more

December 15, 2023

Guest blogger Evan Clendenin   I stood there with two people from church, looking out through the window at the full moon and Jupiter. While our hosts fixed dessert in the kitchen, we wonder-ed together at the night sky. They described how looking up at night, or beholding images of far off celestial objects, awakened in them a sense of wonder, of humility, of gratitude, and of faith. When have you found yourself in wonder at some aspect of the... Read more

December 11, 2023

If spiritual direction is a space where we explore encounters with God, then how do we know when God shows up? It’s a question people ask, and one I’ve been considering lately. I believe we encounter the Divine (whatever name you use is fine) when we encounter those basic values that make life worth living:  love, joy, peace, patience, wisdom, beauty, steadfastness, life-giving energy, compassion, connection, creativity—the list could go on of course. That is still my benchmark for testing... Read more

December 4, 2023

By guest blogger Anne Randerson. Many of us feel a sense of overwhelm when we see Christmas lights, Santas, bustling lines to purchase children’s toys, and a plethora of holiday activities. Some people simply shut down, while lots of us notice a feeling of overdrive in our bodies, minds, and spirits. As spiritual directors and companions, how can we settle our nerves as we face this busy season? Memories come flooding in—good, bad, and mixed—of meals with family, silly quarrels with... Read more

July 24, 2023

Spiritual direction owes much to the early Christians known as the “desert fathers and mothers.” We continue this series looking at some of the most interesting of the desert mystics. Riches to Rags As a young 4th century woman, Syncletica of Alexandria had it all. Legend has it she was beautiful, desired by many eligible suitors, educated, and wealthy. Early in her childhood, Syncletica gave herself so totally to God that when her father arranged a marriage to a wealthy... Read more

July 19, 2023

Mary of Egypt is one of the best-known desert mothers. She left her Alexandria home and family at the age of 12 for reasons unknown. As the story goes, she was a sex worker for 17 years, sometimes selling her body for money and other times seducing men just for the fun of it. Pilgrimage to Jerusalem One day Mary was intrigued by a ship heading out of Alexandria taking people on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy... Read more

March 16, 2023

You’ll often hear spiritual directors talk about how much they love their directees. And it’s true that when we hold stories of vulnerability and pain or strength and joy, we feel a sense of love. What kind of love are we talking about? Love, not Romance First, let me be clear that under no circumstance should a spiritual director begin a romantic relationship with a client (current or former). That would be highly unethical. And, the Code of Ethics for... Read more

February 22, 2023

The legend of Theodora of Alexandria is a 5th century tale of sex, gender fluidity and deception. Theodora was a beautiful married woman, who in a moment of sexual passion cheated on her husband with another man. Her guilt over this indiscretion led her to a life of penance in the desert. So, Theodora cut her hair and posed as a man named Theodore to join an ascetic community of desert monks (since the desert fathers considered women too much... Read more

February 7, 2023

The Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 4th century were the original spiritual directors, sought out by pilgrims coming to them to explore their spiritual life. In this series, I’m introducing a few of these amazing people. Some you have heard of. And, some I’m guessing you have not. Meet Paula One of the earliest of the desert mothers, Paula of Rome was born into great wealth and married a Senator. She lived a cushy life, donned in expensive silk... Read more

January 27, 2023

2023 is going to be a great year for spiritual guidance. More and more people are learning what spiritual direction/companioning/guidance is all about, which means more work for all of us–a very good thing! But many spiritual directors struggle to build a practice. Directors need to get the word out about the work we do—deep listening and conversation about a person’s spiritual life and needs. We may not want to go full-tilt with an advertising blast. There are ways to... Read more

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