“Spiritual direction takes place when two people agree to give their full attention to what God is doing in one (or both) of their lives and seek to respond in faith.”
An Exercise in Holy Listening and Discernment:
As the Speaker
Receive your chance to speak and be heard as an opportunity to explore some aspect of your walk with God during the past week (or day). Remember that you and your friend meet in the company of God, who is the true guiding presence of this time together.
As the Listener
Practice listening with your heart as well as your head. Create a welcoming, accepting space for the other person to explore freely his or her journey in your presence and in the presence of God. Be natural, but be alert to any habits or anxious needs in you to analyze, judge, counsel, “fix,” teach, or share your own experience. Try to limit your speech to gentle questions and honest words of encouragement.
Be inwardly prayerful as you listen, paying attention to the Spirit even as you listen to the holy mystery of the person before you.
When it seems appropriate and unintrusive, invite the other person to explore simple questions such as these:
How to Begin and End the Conversation
For the Listener
For the Speaker
Companions in Christ Leader’s Guide, 2001 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to make one copy for each participant.