Every human being is a unique expression of the Divine. Effort is required to discover and reveal the sacred, inner direction of a person’s lived experience with God in day-to-day experience.
Christian spiritual direction seeks to explore the longings of the human soul for an intimate relationship with God, and in doing so, serves to deepen and nurture an intimate relationship with God.
The role of the spiritual director, sometimes also called a spiritual companion, is to assist in this process by helping directees to notice the subtle ways God is present to them. And n turn, encourages each person to courageously and faithfully respond to God.
Spiritual direction offers a unique and distinct form of soul care by establishing an individual, personal, and ongoing relationship with directees. With its primary aim of fostering spiritual intimacy, it differs from other individual types of support and guidance such as, counseling, psychotherapy, mentoring, and coaching.
If you would like to further explore spiritual direction please contact me. You are also free to contact me with any questions or concerns about The Retreat Space.
Spiritual Direction is a sustained attempt at leading a person to an understanding and acceptance of self, thus helping that person to actively allow God to strip away the barriers that impede the action of the Holy Spirit in him/her.
–Herbie Alfonso, SJ.
Knowing Ourselves - Knowing God
“We cannot not truly know God without knowing oneself and that we cannot truly know oneself without knowing God.” - John Calvin, The Institutes, 1.1.1
Although our particular definitions and images of God may differ across cultural and religious boundaries, spiritual experience is universal: It is an encounter between our temporal self and a larger mysterious whole. Often it is experienced as a longing for something more, or perhaps through a desire which cannot be relieved by material or economic fulfillment.
This longing may find its home in our questions and struggles with the meaning and purpose of life, an illness or tragedy we cannot explain, our perceived aloneness in the world, or our undeniable mortality. Spiritual experience seeks an awareness of God in that inner place where we are sustained when we are unable to sustain ourselves. Spirituality has to do with our unique, lived experience of God as it relates to the ideas about God given to us by our religious traditions.
Deepening intimacy with God requires a person to look inward, upward, and outward, fostering experiential communion and union with God. As such, knowing ourselves and knowing God is an integral part of the continuing journey of “becoming.” St. Irenaeus wrote, “The glory of God is a fully alive human being.” Or as some faith traditions support, it is the process of becoming conformed to the image of Christ.
Scripture, knowledge, and understanding become tools to know God more intimately, rather than being the end goal.