Sherman YL Kuek, a Malaysian lecturer in systematic and contextual theology, blogs about pursuing a vocation in ministry. His perspective is Christian, but his thoughts could be applied to any institutional religion.
In seeking direction for one’s ministerial vocation, one’s preoccupation should not be fixated upon the ecclesiastical hierarchy itself. If being a part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is necessary for one’s ministerial effectiveness, one should be willing to embrace this “call”. But if not, one’s primary consideration should rest on how one may most effectively contribute to the betterment of the wider church in the longer run, even if this is bound to take place to the detriment of one’s own “career development”.
Sarah Hart, a spiritual director and the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor, sells "chocolate you can believe in." Through her store in Portland, Oregon, USA, and her Web site, she offers handcrafted candies in the images of Buddha in various poses, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Quan Yin, hamsa hands, the Sacred Heart, and Celtic crosses. She says the edible icons illustrate a central
tenet of Buddhism: Nothing lasts forever. For more information, see almachocolate.com.
Sociologist and executive director of New College Berkeley, Susan S. Phillips, PhD, recently spoke on spiritual direction at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Kian-Seng Yap, an MDiv student at Regent, wrote about the presentation.
Phillips begins by stating her wariness of calling oneself a 'spiritual director' for God is the ultimate spiritual director. In her work, she experience firsthand that people find it easier to talk about their sexual lives, working lives etc than their spiritual lives. Her work then is to help people to find their spiritual bearings in order to determine how to walk their spiritual journey.
Israeli bookstore owners have a spiritual conundrum.
The international launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the latest in the series about the adventures of the world's most famous teenage wizard, falls at 2:01 a.m. local time this Saturday, on the Jewish Sabbath, when the law in Israel requires most businesses to close.
Click here to read what Steimatzky, Israel's biggest bookstore chain, and many other bookstore owners are planning to do.
A self-described "frustrated member of Western form of Biblical faith" writes about the need for spiritual discipline. His orientation is Christian, but his questions could be applied to any spiritual practice.
Perhaps you think that spiritual direction is complete when you have found a teacher, a religion, a discipline using it to instruct, guide and re-enforce your inner commitment. As essential as these may be to you, Life's questions and opportunities to grow in Wisdom are embedded in your daily living, and for you to feel truly involved with your spiritual development you must draw upon your particular life circumstance for clarity and depth. The introspective method of keeping a journal can place you in your living world where all of the questions about the meaning and mystery of Life reside. A life explored on paper will mirror and solidify internal processes.
Wellspring, a spirituality blog for Unitarian Universalists, describes writing as a spiritual practice.
When I write to save my soul, it’s not pretty our polished. The pen scrawls across the page as I search for the words that are going to crack my heart open, just a bit, so I can see inside. Some days, the writing is fruitful and I learn the mysteries of god. Other days, it’s more like drinking a strong cup of coffee; I become alert and attend to the trouble in my life with clarity. And some days, I think my writing is the prayer in my soul that needs air and its appearance on the page surprises me more than anything.
In so-called spiritual direction, for example, there is often the temptation to move someone into the light when they are in fact in darkness. However well-intentioned, this is a move into false light; the move itself is a lie, and if not properly discerned can become demonic. If we measure ourselves or others against any false horizon, or use a false horizon for discernment, we are in illusion. Transformation takes place out of our sight by grace and can be measured only by the coordinates of grace.