Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

Today’s guest post is from spiritual director Sam Rahberg

After I finish a good read and before I tuck it away on the shelf, I like to spend some time summarizing what was most important to me. I use the author’s own words, varied only slightly, and follow the themes that speak most strongly to me at this time. The example below remains a summary and serves only as my own interpretation, so I take responsibility for any deviation from the author’s original intent. Even so, may it be a helpful reflection for others and an encouragement to read a fine book in its entirety.


Abba’s Child:
The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging 

(a book by Brennan Manning, an interpretive synopsis by Sam Rahberg)

Book cover--Abba's ChildJesus’ relentless tenderness
invades the citadel
of your self.
Pause to reclaim your core
identity as Abba’s child.
Inner Imposter must be called
out of hiding, accepted, embraced.
God’s choice of you
constitutes your worth.
Dignity as Abba’s child—
your most coherent sense of self.
The denial, displacement, and
repression of feelings
thwarts self-intimacy.
Daily we are being
reshaped into the image of Christ.
Recovery of passion—
recovery of your true
self as beloved.
Become inner-directed
rather than outer-determined.
Let the Great Rabbi hold you
silently against his heart.

Manning, Brennan. Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.

Sam Rahberg is the Director of the Benedictine Center and a spiritual director. Sam has experience in parish education and administration and holds a master’s degree in theology from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Easter Prays / Easter Praise! blog and is reprinted here with the author’s permission.

 

Expanding Spiritual Direction Ministry

It is with gratefulness and joy that I make this announcement: The church I attend, Easter Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota, is providing a space in which I can meet with people who desire spiritual direction.

Amish Quilt I have been a spiritual director for a few years, but one of the challenges has always been finding a quiet, confidential space in which to meet people. Spiritual direction is an ancient Christian practice, so what better place to meet than a church building?

Over the course of my life, spiritual direction has been such a huge benefit for my soul. In difficult times, a spiritual director was there to offer support and remind me of God’s love. When facing challenging decisions, my spiritual director helped me to listen carefully to whatever God wanted for me (discernment). For me, a spiritual director has been one of the ways I take care of my deeper self and grow in my relationship with God.

Because of the many blessings I have received in spiritual direction, it is only natural that I would want to serve others in the same way. In fact, it was a spiritual director who invited me to become a spiritual director (also known as “spiritual companion,” “soul friend,” “spiritual midwife,” or “spiritual counselor”).

Although I’m meeting with spiritual seekers at Easter Lutheran, you do not have to be Lutheran to come visit me for spiritual direction. Although I am a follower of Christ and a member at Easter Lutheran, my spiritual direction training was very broad, even including learning about spiritual direction in other religious traditions. Some people who want spiritual direction are “spiritual but not religious;” others are diehard Lutherans, Catholics, or Baptists; still others blend traditions, such as the Christian who also practices Buddhist meditation.

Click to enlarge--Open Butterfly--photo by Julie McCarty

Any of these people might benefit from spiritual direction, because spiritual direction is a highly individual, personal process. It focuses wherever you are at with God (or the divine as you perceive it). In spiritual direction, one person might want to learn a new way to pray; another might feel drawn into ministry but wants to explore this potential with a spiritual listener; yet another feels confused about where God is in the midst of suffering; or another may want to focus on their passion about social justice and finding God in the midst of serving others.

It is always important to recall that the real “director” is the Holy Spirit, the hidden God within and around us, who loves us deeply. As I see it, the spiritual director is an active listener, who listens both to what the seeker says and to what the Spirit within might be saying. The point is to GROW in your spiritual beliefs, your awareness of God, your ability to serve God and others with your gifts, and mostly to grow closer to that God who is already deep within your heart. Spiritual direction helps with this process. READ MORE 

If you are interested in spiritual direction, I encourage you to learn more about it and seek a spiritual director who will best meet your needs. Ask God to show you who to work with. Research the options on sites like “Spiritual Directors International” and ask around at retreat centers or your local church.

If you want to visit with me for spiritual direction, you can reach me by phone or e-mail to set up an appointment:

Violets image with info 2B

(The first letter of e-mail address is a “j” for Julie. Phone is in Central time zone.)

In all things, pray for God’s desire for your life–
and know that God loves you, immensely.

Until next time, Amen!

P.S. THANK YOU to my faith community at Easter Lutheran!
You give me hope and keep me growing in my faith and love for Christ.