the art of spiritual direction

This is Sister Marie. She is a nun and spiritual director in a Roman Catholic monastery in Canada. I had the incredible pleasure of visiting her last weekend. It was the first time I'd seen her in 25 years. Around 27 years ago I experienced a profound spiritual crisis. I desperately needed help. Somehow I came across Thomas Merton's Seven Story Mountain and immediately knew I needed a spiritual director. I clandestinely researched high and low until someone told me about this woman. She is highly trained, qualified and very wise as a spiritual director. I contacted her and she agreed to meet with me one time to test the waters. After we met, she agreed to meet with me for one hour a week. We did that for 2 years! She helped me walk through one of the most critical times in my spiritual life. In fact, it was due to her that I discerned that I should enter the ordained ministry. I wouldn't have if it wasn't for her. I don't regret doing that or serving the church for so long in that capacity. She knew I wrestled constantly with this call. She knew I struggled with the church. She knew I fought against the system. She knew I kicked against the pricks. But she helped me see that I needed to serve exactly there. I wouldn't be who I am today. I certainly wouldn't be the nakedpastor. I'm grateful for all of it. I remember one day whining to her that I was a stick-in-the-mud! I was so frustrated with my indecision and fear about the ministry. She peacefully sat there, totally accustomed to my chronic confusion, and calmly asked, "What does it feel like to be a stick-in-the-mud?" She helped me be honest with myself, to be myself, and to love who I was. That was grace. I told her how much she meant to me, including that story. She laughed. I couldn't thank her enough. She was so grateful that I came to visit her because she had just retired the previous weekend and wondered if she'd done any good. "Indeed!" I said, "You have!" She has inspired me to provide spiritual coaching in the same manner she did. If you want to talk with me, check out my talk page.
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