I was really pleased today to receive the first copies of the book Liz Hoare and I worked on over the summer. Published by Grove Books in the Spirituality Series we wanted to produce a book that was practical and theological in helping people think about Spiritual Direction who may never have come across it before. There are many in the Church of England who are advised to get a spiritual director, particularly those going through vocational discernment. The problem with this advice (good and important as it is) is that it seems to seldom include any help to really appreciate what Spiritual Direction really is, what to expect from it and how to find someone. We explore all this and more!
The chapters are:
- Introduction: Spiritual Direction – Prophetic and Prayerful
- What is Spiritual Direction and who is it for?
- Spiritual Direction and Scripture
- The Spiritual Direction Triangle
- The Qualities of a Spiritual Director
- Theology and Spiritual Direction
- Who offers Spiritual Direction and How do I Find them?
- How Well is it Working?
I’ve been helping people find an appropriate Spiritual Director for over 20 years as well as training people in this ministry. So there much of my contribution to the book is based on this experience. The metaphors and models that are helpful to understand its nature clarify thinking about the role and dynamics of Spiritual Direction have emerged from this. The triangle model has its roots in Barry & Conolly’s ‘Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God’ and I’ve found it really helpful in working with Spiritual Directors to reflect on their practice and the nature of what is appropriate to Spiritual Direction and its distinction to other helping relationships like Counselling, Coaching etc.
Liz and I are both members of the Grove Spirituality editorial group and it was in that context that we started to plan this book. Fellow group member Philip Seddon contributed to the early conversations, and the group at its gathering in September provided some last minute wisdom that sharpened up our thinking for the beginning. Thank you Andy Rider for so helpfully reminding us that ‘we are all spiritually directed’. We hope this book helps choosing the source of our spiritual direction.