Where do I find my greatest joy? How do I relate in harmony with this astounding creation? How is God moving in me? What’s my heart’s desire? Where is Jesus calling me?
These are examples of questions people of faith and spiritual seekers can address in Spiritual Direction.
Spiritual direction, or spiritual companionship, has roots thousands of years old in various faith traditions. In the Judeo-Christian stream, the Queen of Sheba consulted with King Solomon for wisdom. Jesus gave us examples in his conversations with Nicodemus, the woman at the well, and his ongoing teaching of his disciples. In the early church, people followed the Desert Fathers and Mothers for spiritual formation. Every century and every tradition has brought spiritual guides such as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Maimonides, Julian of Norwich, Rumi, Charles Wesley, Mahatma Ghandi, Howard Thurman, Dorothy Day….The practice of spiritual direction is enjoying a resurgence in the last few decades, in various faith traditions.
Simply put, spiritual direction is an intentional listening and conversation about the ways in which the Spirit is touching one’s life. The conversation involves three participants: the directee the director the Spirit The directee seeks to deepen her/his relationship with the Holy, opening one’s heart and life to God, to Love and Life itself. The director listens, helping the directee discern and respond to the movement of Spirit in his/her life. The Spirit guides and moves the entire process.
Spiritual direction is available at Southside Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Karen MacDonald is available and eager to serve as spiritual director with those seeking their spiritual path. Her motivation and hope in offering spiritual direction is to help us open to our interconnectedness with the Source of Life, to enliven our living and our activism with a closeness of the Spirit of God, that we might have life, and have it abundantly and share it abundantly (to paraphrase our brother Jesus in John 10:10).
The Reverend Karen MacDonald
Rev. MacDonald was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1987. She is now a minister in the United Church of Christ and a member of Rincon Congregational United Church of Christ. She is also an affiliate member of Southside Presbyterian Church and an honorary member of Congregation M’kor Hayim. Karen is on the staff of Interfaith Community Services (ICS), a faith-based and volunteer-based organization that helps seniors, disabled individuals, and people in financial crisis maintain independence. Her work involves nurturing relationships with faith communities that are vital to ICS’s work, as well as working with faith communities and the community at large in health ministries. Her training in spiritual direction is through Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction, based at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson.