Spiritual direction has been an intrinsic part of the Christian tradition since the earliest days of the church when desert mothers and fathers were sought out for their wisdom and guidance. Today, the popularity of retreats and renewed interest in monastic spirituality has put spiritual direction in the spotlight. It is shedding its rather exotic, mystical associations and is increasingly regarded as a core component of Christian ministry.
This guide aims to equip clergy and laity engaged in this task, or in training for it. It includes, Part One: What is spiritual direction? This is an exploration of biblical, historical and contemporary models of spiritual direction. What makes a good spiritual director? Part Two covers listening and responding to God, prayer, paying attention, discernment, interpreting religious experience, recognising God in the every day, journalling, and holy leisure. Part Three covers listening and responding to others, listening to stories and experience, looking for signs of grace, pain or crises. Part Four covers listening and responding to ourselves, and Part Five covers spiritual direction in the local church.
Sue Pickering is a priest of the Anglican Church in New Zealand and is responsible for the training of Anglican clergy in spiritual direction. A popular retreat leader, she is the author of Creative Ideas for Quiet Days