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Holy Invitations

After recommending a book group, I thought I might recommend a book for a spiritually seeking group to use! Jeanette Bakke's book Holy Invitations: Exploring Spiritual Direction served as my first in-depth look at spiritual direction. This term is one that was new to me and increased my interest in this ancient practice.  Spiritual direction has been common in older more mystical traditions.

Spiritual direction is a way to be more attentive to the Spirit's work in our lives. In spiritual direction the director or just a spiritually minded friend asks questions like, "How have you heard the Spirit this week?" "Have you been convicted this week of something?" or "What in your life are you not content about?" Through these types of questions and much shared prayer the directee is helped to discern what the Spirit is saying to them. Bakke provides some great examples of the dialogue between a director and a directee that are helpful in understanding what this type of relationship looks like.

I’m constantly looking for new books and experiences for my own devotional time and based on Bakke’s work I've started more research particularly into the Ignatian exercises for my own devotional practice. Bakke describes a group form of spiritual direction where participants share mutual listening and counsel through prayer. Some of these practices could easily be adopted by groups of friends who want to be more spiritually attentive.

Bakke's book is very helpful for people like me who have little to no experience with spiritual direction. I definitely recommend it for anyone interested in a deeper search for the Spirit or in a new way to provide Christian counsel. Not everything in this book will be useful, but I suspect it will challenge many to find new and meaningful ways to connect with God.