Looking back over the past week, the most significant thing that happened in my world was probably my first meeting with a Spiritual Director last week.
Spiritual direction is not something that I have been very familiar with so far. The role of a Spiritual Director is to accompany a person on her or his journey to become closer to God, or the divine, or the Holy, or however you choose to phrase it. A Spiritual Director can listen, ask questions, and gently guide a person to a deeper faith. Meeting regularly with a Spiritual Director is a requirement for the Anglican students at school, but not for those of us from the United Church.
Last term, through conversations both in and out of class, I started to think that this was something that I wanted to explore, even though it wasn't required. And then, just before the Christmas break, I met a woman (not through school - through a massed choir that I sang with) and we connected before she knew that I was a student at seminary and before I knew that she was a Spiritual Director. We exchanged e-mail addresses; and once I was back after the Christmas break, I sent her an e-mail.
Which brings me to last Wednesday morning, when I arrived at her house, not quite knowing what to expect.
She practices in the Anglican tradition, which says that the Holy Spirit is the only Spiritual Director, and so most of our time together was spent in silence listening for the Holy Spirit. A lot of silence. 45 minutes worth of silence at the beginning of the session. I am comfortable with silence and solitude, but this mutual, shared silence was different. It was a very holy space carved out of that morning. It took me some time to quiet my brain down, but then when I did, I was able to simply be and listen. The only thing that I can compare it to is the holy silence that I have reached in the centre of the labyrinth on the few occasions when I have been able to walk the labyrinth.
Then, after I broke the silence, we spent some time sharing the thoughts and insights that we had received in the silence, with lots of space for processing, and then we finished with a shorter period of silence and prayer.
And I am looking forward to meeting again with her next month.