As a process of mutual discovery and disclosure, spiritual direction opens new horizons of self-knowledge,

compassion, and deep oneness with the Spirit of God.

(Joann Crowley)

AIM: To introduce and offer Spiritual Accompaniment as a support for the deepening of our relationship with God in prayer and life.

Our intentions: Participants will . .

  • be introduced to the history and development of Spiritual Accompaniment within the Ignatian tradition

  • begin to develop an understanding of Spiritual Accompaniment in relationship to the encounter with Jesus in prayer

  • witness an encounter of the First Spiritual Accompaniment meeting

  • become aware of how to prepare for Spiritual Accompaniment

  • reflect on the benefits of Spiritual Accompaniment


Welcome and Stilling

Sharing Groups: Made in the Image and Likeness of God

The history and development of Spiritual Accompaniment in the Ignatian tradition

  • Beginning Spiritual Accompaniment – an example

  • Role play

  • Feedback & Questions


Individual Prayer: Christ as Spiritual Guide

Group Discussion


Link: Music:

A few suggestions from Spiritual Directors International

“We define Christian spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” William A. Barry, SJ and William J. Connolly, SJ,

“Presbyterian spiritual direction requires a scriptural foundation and theological familiarity in our case with the Reformed faith and tradition, that’s our lens. But direction is primary interested in our universal spiritual experience and that necessitates the capacity and willingness to notice God through many lenses. Direction is not about telling people what to believe or how to act but working with the Spirit to discover, surface, name for themselves, and engage in what God is doing.” Rev. Kenton Smith, Presbyterian,

“Spiritual theology has to do with living the Christian life instead of thinking about it…. The counselling movement, even within the church, became heavily psychologised and became almost exclusively therapeutic, so what people were dealing with were problems. If you had a problem you went to a counsellor. But spiritual direction in a sense doesn’t begin with a problem. Spiritual direction deals much more out of health and an identity of Christian holiness,…” Eugene H. Peterson, Evangelical,

“The greatest teacher is silence. To come out of interior silence and to practice its radiance, its love, its concern for others, its submission to God’s will, its trust in God even in tragic situations is the fruit of living from your inmost centre, from the contemplative space within. The signs of coming from this space are a peace that is rarely upset by events, other people and our reactions to them, and a calm that is a stabilizing force in whatever environment you may be in. God gives us everything we need to be happy in the present moment, no matter what the evidence to the contrary may be. A good spiritual director helps us to sustain that trust.” Father Thomas Keating

“The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a person’s life, to get behind the facade of conventional gestures and attitudes which one presents to the world, and to bring out one’s inner spiritual freedom, one’s inmost truth, which is what [Christians] call the likeness of Christ in one’s soul. Thomas Merton,

Possible areas of your first meeting with your Accompanier

  • Welcome

  • Introductions

  • A little bit about yourself…a little bit about how you like to pray…

  • What are you hoping for from Spiritual Accompaniment?

  • The housekeeping..

      • Confidentiality

      • Meeting frequency ( dictated by GPRL)

      • Time

      • Contacting each other

  • Any questions?

  • Prayer, reflection, journal keeping, NOTICING.

  • Close

A good spiritual guide should be:

1. A good listener; one who both listens and understands with a certain empathy.

2. A person who can put another at their ease.

3. A person with sufficient life experience to understand various emotional states and various religious experiences. The guide should normally be at least one step ahead of the person being guided.

4. A person who takes communication with God as a serious possibility. Often people find it difficult to cope with people talking of hearing God say something to them or hearing ‘voices’ or feeling a presence’ or having a sense of being loved. A guide will listen with the presupposition that the Creator can deal directly with the creature and will do so in quite different ways. How do we know it’s God? – By the fruits of the conversation – seeing where is it leading.

5. A person who has divine common sense—the common sense of the beatitudes. (Not the worldly common sense of ‘look after number one’.) This might be described as having Gospel values, and not being afraid to talk about these.

6. A person who is slow to give advice and even slower to judge, but who is willing to affirm the movements of the spirit as identified with the person being guided.

7. A person who is well versed in the movements of the spirits—and accepts that all people are affected by both good and bad spirits.

8. Self-Aware: Sometimes even a normally good spiritual director will find there is too much going on in their own life to be sufficiently at ease to listen attentively to others. Awareness of when not to see people is important.

9. A person who is at ease with self and is at ease with any talking of any human activity.

There may well also be times when a retreatant begins to talk about subjects which the guide finds very difficult to listen to e.g., abuse, sex, violence or suffering. A good spiritual guide needs to be aware of their own limitations and at times needs to be able to share these with the person being guided without the other person feeling belittled or rejected.

10. A person who can take charge of a conversation gently, without force or domination. At times there will be a need to stop a person in full flow of storytelling mode to allow them to consider

the movements of the spirits; and at time it will be necessary to wait for a time in silence.

11. A person who prays, reflects and is open to guidance (and supervision) themselves.

12. A person who is interested in other people.

Teller of Parables: Matthew 13: 44-46
Forgiver of Sins: Luke 7: 44-48
Teacher: Matthew 7: 15 -20
Role Model: Mark 6: 30-34

Oh, let the Son of God enfold you

With his Spirit and his love

Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul

Oh, let him have the things that hold you

And his Spirit, like a dove

Will descend upon your life and make you whole

Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs

Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs

Oh, come and sing the song with gladness

As your hearts are filled with joy

Lift your hands in sweet surrender to his name

Oh, give him all your tears and sadness

Give him all your years of pain

And you’ll enter into life in Jesus’ name

Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs

Jesus, O Jesus, come and fill your lambs…

  1. Complete any unfinished parts of what we did in the session.

  2. Potential Prayer Material for the coming week reflecting on Christ as a Spiritual Guide:

  • Teller of Parables: Matthew 13: 44-46 The kingdom of God is like a treasure

  • Forgiver of Sins: Luke 7: 44-48 Leading us to a clear conscience

  • Role Model: Mark 6: 30-34 One who always reached out to the needy

  • Challenger: Mark 10: 17-21 The Rich Young Man

  • Teacher: Matthew 7: 15 -20 A tree and its fruits

  1. Read the following articles, notice what strikes you or what stays with you:

LINK: Music: (Spirit Song)