Well I am now on the final furlong in my journey of training as a Spiritual Director. I am enjoying a diverse group of women and men learning at the feet of the Franciscans in Canterbury. The last year has been tremendouse in terms of growing still further in self knowledge and in appreciating the way of the contemplative in our fast paced society.
One thing I have committed to do throughout the course is to approach it from a non academic perspective. Hence my assignments have been attempts to steer away from well constructed, cerebral essays and have included images, poems and deeply felt personal reflections. This has presented its challenges both for me as the author of my own reflective journey and for my tutor seeking to make sense of such submissions.
The course has been well structured for me - vaguely chaotic and lacking the normal intensity and seriousness of most learning courses I have participated on. I love the uncertainty that surrounds programme content combined with the scintillating insights of the various contributors, especially brother Peter.
He takes his stool, not a note to hand and then paints a picture from familiar scriptures that convey you to the very feet of Jesus. Much food is left for reflection - it is like leaving the feeding of the five thousand; fully nourished and with a doggy bag to boot!
Now the adventure begins as I stretch my wings and begin work as a Spiritual Director. Accompanying people on their walk with God is wonderful. I am myself surprised by just how beneficial it has proved to me having access to a director. I came to this later in life, yet recognise just how valuable it would have been in earlier, and very troubled years.
The word Director does seem to put some people off. Yet really it is a companion on the journey, a listener. There is little actual direction a such. Rather a conversation, someone who draws out the strabnds of sprituality highlighted by God's spirit. And all of this rooted richly and deeply in God's word.
So another step on my contemplative journey is soon to be completed and I feel well made up. It will be a complete joy to meet and walk with those whos heart is always to journey deeper into God's heart.