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January 28 , 2011

Using the Bible in Spiritual Direction


Spiritual direction is as old as the Christian faith. Today there is an ever growing demand for this ministry, despite the decline in membership of the institutional Church. The Bible has always had a privileged place in the director's toolkit and has been mined as a resource in different ways. It has been a source of wisdom; it has provided material for prayer and reflection; it has encouraged those just beginning in prayer and those for whom prayer has run dry; it has challenged belief and behaviour in the struggle to discern God's will and set boundaries for orthodoxy in Christian experience. With that all this in mind, the author suggests that spiritual direction is not just for individuals but for the flourishing of the Church as a whole. There is evidence of a loosening of the links between Christian orthodoxy and the practice of spiritual direction. It is also often perceived as a private and individualistic pursuit. The author therefore asks how the Bible challenges this interpretation of a key but often unacknowledged ministry in the Church, and how it may help the whole Church to own spiritual direction and thereby benefit the wider world.

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