Holy Listening - Review

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Margaret Guenther has described a ministry of spiritual direction in her book titled Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction. She describes a model for spiritual direction to be taken up by amateurs. She believes that the ministry of spiritual direction should  be practiced by every member of the church: lay or professional. Her ministry takes shape around four separate chapters describing the welcoming of others into our ministry, the characteristics of a good spiritual director, an analogy of midwifery and soul care and the role of women in spiritual direction. Each serves to describe an emotionally sensitive approach to spiritual direction where the director is attuned to those whom he or she is serving. This book is written as one part of a conversation. The reader is encouraged to interact with the content chapter by chapter. The concepts that Guenther introduces are presented in a nurturing context. It is made clear that we approaching spiritual direction from the woman’s perspective. She admits that there is a great deal of gender-neutral aspects of the ministry of spiritual direction; she is also quick to realize the feminine nature of such ministry.

I would not recommend this be the first book you read on spiritual direction. There are other places that you could begin if you are interested in the topic. But for those who are interested in diving in to several different authors on the topics of spiritual direction, you will find that Margaret provides a unique an informed point of view. I like the nurturing aspects of spiritual direction that she presents.

Brent ColbyComment