Within each of us lies the desire to find meaning beyond the moment...To discover our true selves...To grow closer to God and to one another. A spiritual director can help you satisfy that longing.
You might be interested in spiritual direction for a variety of reasons, including:
-to identify and trust your own experiences of God
-to integrate spirituality into your daily life
-to discern and make difficult choices
-to share your hopes, struggles and losses
-to develop a sensitivity for justice and concern for the poor
-to live the essence of your spiritual faith with integrity
The privilege and responsibility of a spiritual companion is to journey with you as you deepen your relationship with God. The journey takes place in the context of confidential one-on-one sessions. The HNJ Pastoral Care office has a list of Spiritual Companions and their qualifications for you to choose from. You and your spiritual director/companion will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour. Some spiritual directors request a fee, some receive your free-will donation, and others offer their time with no expectation of anything in return. After three or four sessions, you will have the opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Whether your relationship with the spiritual companion continues for many years or for only a short period of time, it is very important to be comfortable with the spiritual companion you choose. What is shared between you is held in confidence.
What is the spiritual companion ministry?
- The Spiritual Companion Ministry is a graced way of serving another believer, by helping the other to grow in intimacy with God and to live out the consequences of that intimacy.
- The focus of the relationship is on the companion’s relationship with God .and God’s communications.
- Trained spiritual companions have a background in ministry, personality dynamics, communication skills, and various resources in prayer, spirituality and scripture.
- A spiritual companion is one who has been trained as a spiritual director in a program such as the three year Audire Program.
- While some spiritual companions may also be trained as pastoral or psychological counselors, problem solving is not the focus.
Why would I seek a spiritual companion?
Jesus answered and said to him, “whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to· him and make our dwelling with him.” –John 14:23
- Life becomes a three dimensional journey when it is seen as Spirit. Mind and Body, recognizing the indwelling spirit of our loving Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier.
- Some seekers come when prayer has become difficult: a companion can help someone explore various prayer forms.
- Others come at a crossroads in life such as with the loss of a loved one, a job change, or health problems, seeking our God who calls us to Holiness and Wholeness.
- Some seek a spiritual companion after a retreat, mission, or prayer service, awakens them to a new experience of God; loving them just as they are, not the way others or they themselves think they ‘should’ be.
- Others come seeking clarity for what gives them abundant life, discerning the Spirit.
What can I expect?
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am! In the midst of them. Matt. 18:20
- The Spiritual Companionship Ministry takes place in a private one to one setting where confidentiality is respected.
- A spiritual companion will provide a safe sacred space, where you can be free to ask your own questions, trust your inner wisdom and attend to God’s response.
- You can expect a spiritual companion to keep the focus on your relationship with God.
- A spiritual companion will ask reflective questions that will hopefully have you look a bit deeper and become more aware of God’s indwelling and guidance.
- A spiritual companion will listen, pray, accept, rejoice and weep with you, holding confidentially the treasures of your heart.
- A spiritual companion will not give advice or ‘tell you what to do’.
- You will usually meet once a month for one hour.
Is there a charge?
Financial arrangements should be discussed with each spiritual companion.
- Sometimes a spiritual companion is a salaried employee of a particular institution and a donation to the institution may be recommended.
- In some cases a trained companion’s practice is part of their income, so a fee will be discussed.
- In other cases, a companion serves in this ministry without charging a fee.
How do I select a spiritual companion?
There are trained and certified spiritual companions in our area. We invite you to prayerfully discern whether you are being called to this graced relationship.
- A list of certified spiritual companions is available in our office.
- You can review the information and set up an appointment with one of the companions on the list.
- After two or three sessions, discern if there is compatibility in the relationship.
- You may need to meet with more than one spiritual companions to find a “good fit”.