Today is a special day honoring Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The 2-minute video below shows Mother Teresa talking about her concern for those who feel lonely, unwanted, or rejected–and how Jesus knew their suffering in the Agony in the Garden.
–Who in my circle of friends or acquaintances might be feeling this unwanted, left-out feeling or great sadness at this time? How might I reach out to them with compassion?
–Who in my community or country is most likely to feel unwanted, lonely, or rejected? What might I do to help them feel wanted and loved by God?
–Mother Teresa saw in the poor the suffering of Jesus. Is that how I view those who are poor or disadvantaged?
O God, you know sometimes I am less than Christ-like in my approach to others. Help me to find ways to put aside my selfishness or poor attitudes, so that I may reach out to others with the love of Christ. I especially pray for . . . . May all who feel lonely or unwanted receive comfort this day. Amen.
People sometimes ask me, “What is spiritual direction?” Great question! However, it’s not so easy to answer in a single sentence.
Historically, spiritual direction has been a one-on-one process of “companioning” with a person on his or her spiritual journey. In some ways it’s a little like meeting with a counselor or church pastor, but often those meetings are dealing with the search for solving a particular problem, whereas spiritual direction is about paying attention to the presence of God in your life (not to say that “problems” are excluded from the conversation in spiritual direction!).
Some people think of a spiritual director as a sort of coach, mentor, or personal trainer for the soul. Others may view their spiritual director as a spiritual companion, soul friend, or “spiritual midwife.”
In the short video below*, spiritual director Kristen Hobby from Melbourne, Australia answers many questions about the spiritual direction process in our times:
(If you don’t see the video here, visit YouTube or Google and type in the search these words: Kristen Hobby spiritual direction .)
Questions or comments about spiritual direction? Please share them below or send them to me in e-mail (see contact page). I’d love to hear from you!
Until next time, Amen!
*Special thanks to Spiritual Directors International, a network of spiritual directors of many religious traditions throughout the world, for making this video available on YouTube.
In our broken and hurting world, the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi reminds me what is really important in life. The words of the prayer have the attitude and mind of Christ, who did not seek fame or glory, but rather sought to love and serve others.
The Prayer of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.Where there is injury, pardon.Where there is doubt, faith.Where there is despair, hope.Where there is darkness, light.Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master,grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love.For it is in giving that we receive.It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. Amen.
There is a beautiful visual mediation of this prayer on YouTube using the music of Christian musician John Michael Talbot (video by heywaldojr). The photos that accompany this 4 minute song make a wonderful prayer meditation, a good break from the work of the day (if commercials appear, just click on the X to get rid of them):
If you cannot see the above video, click on the following link or copy and paste the link into your browser:
On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.'” Now he said this about the Spirit which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)
Flowing water fascinates me. When I was a little girl, my best friend had a house with a creek flowing near her house, and we would play for hours within and around the water.
Jesus tells us that he is the living water that satisfies all our deepest longings. The Spirit is flowing in Christ, flowing through him to everyone around him.
What surprises me when I read this passage today is the part about the water of the Spirit flowing out of those who believe in Christ. In all the times I heard this passage proclaimed at church, I never noticed that part. Here’s what the footnote in my bible says:
Jesus is the true water of life, who turns the symbol into reality. . . Believers become channels of life to others, through Christ’s Spirit given at Pentecost after he was glorified (crucified, risen, ascended). –From the Oxford Annotated Bible, NRSV.
Not only was Christ both human and divine, his human side was a channel of the Holy Spirit–and we, too, are called to be channels of the Holy Spirit, flowing out to give to others in abundance.
Today I am offering you a gift that relates to this meditation: a 2 minute escape from your present work into the environment of a flowing, modern day stream named Wolf Creek. This is a very short video I took on a recent trip to our favorite country getaway in the rolling hills of northeastern Iowa, the “Morning Mist Cabin” owned by Larry and Jo Thein. (Thanks to them for letting us share it, and thanks to my husband Terry for his techie expertise in getting it setup on YouTube.)
As you watch this video, you might want to just enjoy the ability to getaway for a moment from the busyness of daily life, taking in the sights and sounds of God’s creation in nature. You might consider Jesus, the Living Water, and how the Spirit is the water that flows through you to others. Or maybe you just want to wait and see what the Spirit might inspire in you this day.
Note: You can enlarge the picture using the little box with four arrows in the bottom right of the picture to enhance the experience of “getting away from it all,” but just be aware that the picture won’t be as sharp. Move your mouse to see how to reduce it again.