My Rule of Life for Spiritual Direction
A Rule of Life can be likened to a trellis, a structure that supports growth and fruit. On this page I outline some of the commitments and guiding principles that I have for my practice of spiritual direction. This is separate from my personal Rule of Life but both feed one another and are used simultaneously. I revisit, pray about, review, and update my Rule of Life quarterly each year.
My personal prayer is the foundation of my life and spiritual direction ministry. For many years I have prayed the Liturgy of the Hours. During this season of life I am committed to praying 3-5 times per day, joining my voice with the Church: lay and religious alike. These are intimate times with the Lord where I break from work and return my attention to God - the source of all I do.
Included in these prayer times are slow reading of the Psalms, a Gospel reading, petitions, and praise. Other times of prayer throughout my day are silent listening (contemplation), devotions, spiritual reading, and Lectio Divina (the slow reading and contemplating of Scripture). Each type of prayer works together to support my own spirituality, provide opportunity for me to lift up my own intentions and those of others, refresh and restore me, and connect me to community within the body of Christ.
I attend Mass two to four times per week, depending on my schedule. The celebration of Mass connects me to Jesus in the Eucharist, to my faith community, and to the Body of Christ.
Regular reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is
integral to my own growth and sacramental life. This practice keeps me self-aware and in remembrance of my great need for the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus. Here I experience freedom, humility, and receive the restoring love of God. I am able to lay aside the pressure of perfection and instead be embraced by the perfect One, resting in His great gift of mercy.
From the Place of Rest
Spiritual Direction is a practice that invites the directee to slow down, listen for the Holy Spirit, and discern in the stillness where God may be leading and guiding them. If this is the environment to which I invite others I must nurture this same place within my own life. Because of this one of the tenets of ministry is to work from a place of rest.
The following practices support that rhythm:
I practice a day of rest and Sabbath on Sundays and Fridays. On these days I remind myself that God is the source of all the work, that he is in control, and no one stewards my work better than him.
I take one day a month as a Retreat day.
I make a Day of Recollection once a month where I spend a longer amount of time in Church, receiving the Sacraments, in Adoration, and in quiet reflection.
I make two week-long retreats during the year (one the first half of the year and one the second) This is a time of deep restoration and rest.
Supervision and Ongoing Training
Part of having an ethical spiritual direction practice is being in some form of supervision. I meet monthly with a professional supervisor to discuss any issues that I may be having with my ministry. This provides accountability for areas in which I need growth or further training as a spiritual director. I also meet monthly with a peer spiritual director for support and further insight.
I commit to attending two educational workshops per year that will keep me growing and learning in the field of spiritual direction.
Protecting those I Serve
Ways that I protect those whom I am called to serve are:
I start by having an introductory meeting with each directee so that they can meet me, ask questions, and learn about my style of direction. After the introduction session the directee has spacious time to discern whether I am a good fit for them and or if they would like help finding a different director.
Upon signing up for direction the directee is given a copy of my Ethics Form which we both sign and receive copies of.
I allow for a range of donation so that each directee can pray about what works for their financial situation and what they feel led to donate. I never turn anyone away for the inability to send a donation.
I keep all emails and files secure and never share the directee's information.
I provide an annual discernment form to every directee which guides them through periodically discerning whether they still want to be in direction with me and if I remain a good fit for them.
I keep what is shared in sessions in confidence. For example if I see two members of the same family or friend group I do not share information across those sessions. If I see a directee in person I will not divulge that I am your director. In addition, when going to supervision no names are shared.
I make referrals when needed for those who may need support I cannot offer. For example, sometimes counseling is another necessary support in a season of a directee's life.
One of my personal values for my own spiritual formation includes continual growth. This keeps me knowing that I never arrive, but am always positioned at the Lord's feet learning about Him and His ways.
Part of that commitment is accomplished through:
My own spiritual direction: I meet monthly with my own spiritual director which keeps me discerning and addressing my own relationship with the Lord.
Study: Every year I commit either to one year long study or one study per quarter.
Healthy friendships: Having the support of great spiritual friends for fellowship and encouragement is something I value in Christian community.
Vocation formation: Through ongoing formation through my Secular Institute which deepens my faith and connection with my fellow Missionaries.