In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to consider the Trinity gazing down upon the Earth. They notice us, our world, our joys, our sorrows, our hope, and our tears. They see the brokenness and the goodness of the world. They decide that God will be made flesh and encounter us in human form. This is the Incarnation—Jesus entering our life world and becoming flesh.
Jesus still enters our life world today.
As a spiritual director, I witness this in my encounters with those seeking spiritual guidance. Spiritual direction is a space and place to unpack and notice, through conversations with a prayerful companion, a personal encounter with Jesus, who notices each of us, cares for us, and saves us. The very act of holy listening and sharing that occurs within spiritual direction sessions is an experience of Jesus entering our life world.
People meet with a spiritual director for many reasons. Perhaps they want to grow in their relationship with God and are seeking guidance as to how to start their prayer lives or how to take their prayer lives deeper. Or maybe they are trying to discern an invitation from God. Or they are in the middle of a major transition or crisis of faith. No matter what drew them to spiritual direction, our conversations always lead back to the one who drew the person to meet with me in the first place—the Holy Spirit.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual director and the one seeking guidance listen to the person’s story and notice the encounter with Jesus in the person’s life, and we discern:
How is the encounter with Jesus transforming the person?
In light of this transformation, what is Jesus’ invitation?
My personal encounter with Jesus continues to transform me and call me to action. My ministry of spiritual direction was birthed from Jesus’ ongoing work in my life. It is a gift I thank God for often, because this ministry allows me to be a witness of the Incarnation that St. Ignatius invites us to pray with in the Spiritual Exercises—Jesus entering our world and encountering and transforming people.