Accompaniment is intimately linked to Ignatian spirituality and pedagogy. It always includes an element of personalized care and attention for the individual, whether via a spiritual companion, a pastoral care worker, or teachers. The key thing is being there. But first of all, you need to be close to them. If you are not readily available, you can’t be a companion. Then you have to give this time, something that adults in general and Jesuits in particular sometimes find hard because we tend to be caught up with various activities. With this, however, you need to waste time, sometimes to chat about silly things, as that is the only way to create a space in which the big issues can come up later. You also need to have a huge amount of patience, not speak for the young person, and not try to hurry the process. The companion can usually see clearly, way before the young person they accompany, what the next step is, but should encourage them to figure this out for themselves.
—Excerpted from Walking with Ignatius by Arturo Sosa, SJ
Excellent reminders for all of us in any walk of life. I recently was elected to a leadership position in a community, volunteer service organization. With my many years of management & organizatinal experience it is tempting to “just do it” That approach helps no one. St. Ignatius reminds me to listen, be patient and guide. In other words, just BE there.
So meaningful and timely. My 12 year old granddaughter is coming tomorrow to spend two weeks with me. Just the two of us. I will remember this as we journey together the next two weeks.
Nice and meaningful. Thanks. Patience is bliss.