Spiritual Direction Definitions

These spiritual direction definitions were originally compiled for one of my classes.

"The . . . spiritual guide is concerned with encounter with God, the process by which the human community and the individual are made one with the divine. The Christian is not seeking a solitary walk with God, a private mystical trip, a flight of the alone to the Alone. He (she) is involved in a corporate search for humanity, renewal, the Kingdom of God, the transfigured cosmos, the Body of Christ." (Kenneth Leech, Soul Friend, p 37)

"The terms 'spiritual friend' or 'spiritual guide' are descriptive of (a) relationship in which one person helps another discern the intricacies of a spiritual journey. In fact, the best kind of spiritual director is not one who gives directions but one who points directions, a person who knows something of the terrain from having traveled some of it. . ." (Gerald May, Will and Spirit, p 290)

"The ministry of spiritual direction can be understood as the meeting of two or more persons whose desire is to prayerfully listen to the movements of the Holy Spirit in all areas of a person's life (not just in their formal prayer life). It is a three-way relationship: among the true director who is the Holy Spirit (which in Christian tradition is the Spirit of Christ present in and among us), and the human director (who listens for the directions of the Spirit with the directee), and the directee. The director is a companion along the pilgrim's way, waiting to be directly open along with the directee to the Spirit-undercurrents flowing through the happenings of the directee's life." (Tilden Edwards, Spiritual Director, Spiritual Companion, p 2)

(Spiritual Direction is) . . . help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God's personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship." (Barry and Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, p 8)

Return from spiritual direction definitions to journey-through-grief homepage