Through the history of faith, those who have gone before us have developed and recommended rich tools and habits to cultivate the spiritual life. We invite you to consider these tools for your own faith journey.
& Couples Counseling
Needing more support, insight, or resources to lead you to find greater healing and help you live more fully? Counseling can help you to effect change in your life and relationships. Click below for an updated list of discounted counselors in the area.
Looking to cultivate a deeper life and relationship with God? Spiritual direction can assist you in the path of spiritual growth as you learn to discern where God is working in your life. Contact Professor Howard Baker, Director of Spiritual Formation, for a current list of Spiritual Directors.
Assessing the "State of Your Soul" - Developing Your Spiritual Awareness
The practice of taking a close look as your own spiritual well-being on a regular basis is an excellent practice to help direct attention to what might otherwise be missed in the distraction of busyness.
This rhythm is an intentional time to notice where God has been at work. The most famous of this type of practice is commonly referred to as the "examen" and is recommended as a daily practice.
There are also methods which are intended for longer intervals as well. Whichever fits best, each will help to draw your attention to how God's internal movement is ever-present in your external comings and goings.
An Outline of the Examen
"Rummaging for God: Praying Backwards through Your Day"
Guidelines for Living - A Personal Rule of Life
Whether unconscious or written out, we all have rules, schedules, or expectations that dictate the way we live our days. When organized into a single resource of guiding principles for a person or community, these documents have commonly been referred to a as a "Rule of Life."
Almost every monastic community has such a document, and they can be useful to the individual as well. These guides are developed to be intentional about the rhythms built into our days, weeks, and months.
The effort spent in developing a personal rule, or rhythm, is a great way to partner with God in the transformation only He can bring to our lives.
Wading into a Rule of Life
Creating a Personal Rule of Life
Since its beginning, the church has linked intentional practices, relationships, and experiences to their pursuit for more of God. There are many habits which can help one to learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
Good spiritual habits can help root out vice, or be used as a tool in cultivating virtue. These habits invite us to create space for Jesus and discover the true nature of our desires. Here are just a few examples:
Practicing the Presence
Many of us were taught that prayer was talking to God with bowed heads and folded hands. But as we grew up, we realized it was and can be a rich conversation deepening our relationship with our Creator.
Just like there are so many ways to enjoy a conversation with a significant other, there are many styles of prayer which can help us connect our heart with the one we love who is Love.
Praying With Scripture: "Lectio Divina"
Methods of Prayer
Retreats and Spiritual Direction
Sometimes the world around us becomes so loud that we need to remove ourselves from the noise to refresh, retool, renew, and unwind. Other times we just need help discerning the voice of God amidst all the babble.
A retreat is a specific time away, which can remove the distractions and enable a person simply to delight in the company of God. A Spiritual Director can also come alongside us in our spiritual journey, as a supporting companion in prayer and guidance.
If you are interested in finding a spiritual director, contact Professor Howard Baker in the Spiritual Formation department. Professor Baker will direct you to some of the spiritual directors in our community.