--Orientations, Volume 2--
For Those Who Accompany Others On The Inward Journey
Table Of Contents
-- Part A --
Section I -- Running Commentaries
Section II -- Resources
-- Part B --
Further Theory And Practice About
The Exercises For Guides And Spiritual Directors
Ongoing Spiritual Direction:
Some Theory And Helps
The purpose of the manual is to contribute to the learning and serious conversation of those who accompany others on the inward journey in a variety of settings which have some connection with the Spiritual Exercises. It is also an attempt to establish the kind of conversation that we directors of the Spiritual Exercises have when we discuss our craft with one another in peer groups. During these conversations, there is always a mixture of theory with practice, conjecture with profound insight -- and all this, with open-ended wonderment.
Because this manual would be so bulky in one volume, I have divided the material into two parts:
Orientations, Volume 2: Part A contains the first two sections;
Orientations, Volume 2: Part B, the last three sections.
Section I -- Running Commentaries -- is written for the beginning spiritual guide who is accompanying a directee through the notation  Exercises journey for the first few times with some form of supervision. In this section, to denote such a person, I use the term 'prayer guide'. Throughout this section, I continually make reference to the relevant paragraphs of the Exercises text and to other segments of this manual so that the prayer guide can study and appropriate the contents and techniques of the Exercises at the same time as he/she is guiding a directee on the Exercises journey.
Section II -- Resources -- contains materials that all spiritual directors, as well as the prayer guides specified above, may find useful in accompanying directees during the notation  Exercises journey and/or in many of its applications.
Section III -- Further Theory And Practice -- with which Volume 2: Part B begins, is intended to further the understanding of the Exercises and to give focal ideas for their applications in other areas of spiritual guidance. This section is also written for teachers of practical spirituality and for those spiritual directors who do not need the running commentaries. It explores significant areas of the Exercises in the following experienced-based and practical ways:
1. It relates the Exercises text:
-- To the spiritual director's own personal experiences;
-- To the directees' experiences both during the Exercises journey itself and outside that setting.
2. It can be used in a classroom setting:
-- References are continually made to the Running Commentaries as well as to the Exercises text. Thus students can get a "feel" for the way classroom theory might appear in the actual guidance of directees.
-- Reflection and study suggestions are given in each of these chapters to encourage students to check the theory interactively against their own personal experiences and judgements.
-- Connections are continually suggested in order to engage the knowledge and wisdom -- psychological, sociological, cultural literacies, etc. -- which adult students already possess.
Section IV -- Ongoing Spiritual Direction -- deals with issues associated with the general field of spiritual direction or mentoring and with the uses and applications of the Exercises. Like Section III, it has been formatted for use in the classroom with helps for study, reflection, and discussion. In addition, it contains materials that will encourage beginning spiritual directors to design their own programs and processes for their ministry in a wide variety of settings.
Section V -- Appendices -- is relevant for all the other segments of the manual. This section contains:A. Tool Kit of helps for quality control in the ministry of spiritual guidance;If you desire to investigate further the context from which this manual is written, read Chapter 30. There I make a number of distinctions which clarify my context more explicitly. In addition, the distinctions elaborated in that chapter will continually help you clarify many ambiguities which occur in discussions about the Exercises and their applications.
B. Glossary with "working definitions" of key words and concepts used or implied in this manual;
C. Index of study helps, diagrams, reflection questions, cases;
D. Index of key terms and concepts for the whole manual.
This is not an academic study of the Exercises. My endnotes are not intended to prove that my statements rest on the solid research of a written tradition. Besides giving some of my sources, they are intended to further your reflection. This is a manual which gathers into one place the wisdom that has emerged from the experiences of practitioners of spiritual guidance who have shared their experiences in conversations, collaborative meetings, seminars, and practical workshops. The wisdom which it contains is that of a very rich, living and oral tradition of Ignatian spiritual directors who have exercised their art in many different contexts. The whole manual is written in a simple style. Some segments may prove to be too simplistic; others may be quite sophisticated and challenging. The manual may appear uneven and multi-faceted -- from the down-to-earth and the how-to recipe through the intuitive, seemingly unfounded leap to rather deep insights which can "satellize" around themselves isolated bits of information that otherwise may remain unconnected. For some of you, the style will appear undisciplined and annoying; for others, it will be maieutic and harmonize with your more concrete or hands-on style of learning.
The Discourse Of Serious Conversation
This manual is not intended to be read from cover to cover, nor does it manifest the same logical development usually associated with traditional commentaries of the Exercises in the print medium. Except for the Running Commentaries, one chapter does not flow into another according to some overall deductive order. Every chapter of Part B can be understood on its own, and so you will note a repetition of concepts which, even though developed elsewhere, are relevant to the understanding of the individual chapters. There are many cross-references within the manual itself and to the notations of the Exercises. So how can you as a potential user judge its value for your needs?
On Using This Manual
If you are a teacher of spirituality or a trained spiritual director or a supervisor of prayer guides, I would suggest that you look up your favourite topics through the Index and the Glossary. Then choose one chapter from the third or fourth sections and read it through along with its references to the different segments of the manual.
If you are looking for a handbook to train prayer guides as they accompany directees on the Exercises journey, note particularly the fourth section of the manual. It applies a prayer guide's learnings from the preceding sections to many other settings outside the Exercises context. Also read the material under the next heading.
If you are looking for a handbook to help you guide someone through the notation  Exercises journey, this manual may be what you need provided that you are not looking for a recipe for the entire journey. A fixed program or recipe would be too mechanical. It would not lead you to adapt the material according to the discerned needs of your unique directees; nor would it empower you to trust your own hunches and judgements. A manual that does not lead you to work on your own without it, is not worth using!
A Word For Beginning Directors Of The Exercises
The Running Commentaries, Chapters One through Nineteen, represent a more-or-less detailed guidebook and map to help you accompany directees on the notation  Exercises journey. Chapters One through Ten do so in a very detailed fashion, but even in these chapters, you will encounter the encouragement to depart from the program and to pay attention to the process that the proposed structures attempt to foster. You will note very quickly that the elements suggested may need to be expanded over a longer time or may need to be left out because your directees do not need them at this time. They may be in a different space from the one which is hypothesized in these running commentaries. Over and over again, you will be encouraged to adapt the map to the terrain, not the terrain to the map.
Some potential users may get frustrated by the intuitive logic that I use. I introduce new topics when prayer guides are likely to need them in the process, but I give material to help develop a deeper understanding of these topics only later when the need is likely to show itself as the process unfolds. Thus, when I first introduce Desolation, I do not give all the information on it in one place; I expand upon this term only when more information is likely to be needed by a prayer guide and/or a directee. If a prayer guide were to need more information than what is first given, he/she is encouraged to go to the other segments of the manual by following up on the references and looking things up in the indexes and glossary.
After Chapter Eleven, the running commentaries become skimpier, with fewer instructions. Up to that point, I attempt to stay very close to the prayer guide as a coach stays very close to a person learning how to swim. But at a certain point, as any swim coach knows, there comes a time to prod the beginner to swim on his/her own. Chapter Eleven represents this point in the running commentaries. At this point I begin to pull back and encourage the prayer guide to make judgements on his/her own. I do this by encouraging greater use of Sections III which gives, in a more thematic way, the additional insight and information that will be needed. My purpose is to wean the prayer guide away from the program even more than I do in the first ten chapters þ to nudge the prayer guide away from dependency on a detailed program, which might unwittingly encourage a static, classicist-worldview model, in order finally to move him/her to use the Exercises according to his/her own intuition and judgement.
For practical reasons, in Section I -- Running Commentaries, I use female pronouns for the prayer guide and male pronouns for the directee. In the rest of the manual, I alternate the gender of personal pronouns; for example, in Chapter 23, the spiritual director is male and the directee is female; in Chapter 24, vice versa, etc. The scripture texts are not from any one translation of the bible and some are from memory. I adapt them so that they will be more gender-inclusive and immediately recognizable and useful. In a similar way, I have adapted quotations from the Exercises by using primarily Mullan's literal translation which I have modified with my own words and phrases with an eye on other English translations, such as those of Ganss, Morris, Puhl, E. Tetlow, etc.
A Word On Inclusivity
I attempt to be inclusive in other ways. While taking for granted that we need to understand the actual Exercises text with its technical language and unique imagery in order to use it appropriately with others, I attempt to make comments concerning its use from an ecumenical and inter-denominational stance, and less from a "religious-order" viewpoint.
It would be almost impossible to make comments which are inclusive of other cultures. My culture is definitely North American. This is quite evident in the examples and the developmental worldview of the manual. However, there are many places where I do question some of our North American assumptions which may underlie the ways we do our ministry of spiritual direction.
Thank You To So Many People
First of all, I thank John English, S.J., for his constant witness, patience, insight and vision. Without him I would never have come to love the Spiritual Exercises, appreciate their significance and understand their theology and practice. Most of my ideas originated with him. I remember the first prayer patterns that I developed in the early 1970s, many of which were based on the significant scriptural references he had recorded in his personal copy of the Exercises. He has always been interested in the broad vision, and I have been privileged to receive that vision with its consequent insights. John has been so generous in freely sharing the abundance that the God has given him. As a result, I have been able to grow many of the seeds that he planted.
To Rev. Jean Mitchell, a priest at St. George's Anglican Church here in Guelph, I owe a debt of gratitude for her patient hours in correcting the grammar and sentence structure of the manuscript and in digging out the smaller units of insight from my own intuitive right-brain leaps.
To my Jesuit community, I owe a thank-you many times over for giving me the freedom, atmosphere, emotional and financial support that made this manual possible. Thank you also to the late Gordon George, S.J., for opening me to psychological perspectives; to Elaine Frigo, CSSF, who read some problematic portions of this manual and gave me very helpful suggestions; to John LeSarge for teaching me to think in terms of mental structures; to Jack Milan for his insights into social analysis; to Peter Oliphant for his preliminary re-write and convincing nudge to finish this manual; to Frank Whelan, S.J., for his constant support and nuanced suggestions; to John Wickham, S.J., for opening my eyes to cultural perspectives.
I have muscular dystrophy and need attendant-care workers to help with my personal care. Without their ministry during the past four years, I would never have had the energy to complete this work. So thank you so much to the whole staff of the Guelph Services for the Physically Disabled and these attendant-care workers: Lisa, Linda, Cheryl, Janice, Angela, Sarah, Jonna, Cathy, Melissa, Julie E., Veronica, Annelies, Dee, Branka, Ashley, Leslie, Pam, Mary, Brandi, Helen, Julie P., Kim I., Kim M., and Marta. Thank you also to Brother Gene McLaren, S.J., for his continual help in physical care, in library search and in many other forms of thoughtfulness. Thank you also to Christie Munro, my chiropractor, without whose care I would not have been able to type this manuscript.
Thank you also to Kevin Bolianatz for some of the creative ideas behind several of the designs in the manual; to Louise Nugent for helping with the final execution of the designs; to Rev. Valerie Haines for her interpretative designs in the prayer units; to Ruth McLean for her poems; to Provvido Crozzoletto, MCCJ, for his helpful suggestions; to Tarcia Gerwing and Rev. David Howells for their insightful aphorisms; to Alan Ray of Blue Iris Multimedia Group for helpful recommendations regarding the format.
A Blessing, A Prayer, A Hope
As you consult different parts of this manual,
may you be encouraged to reflect
upon your directees' prayer and life experiences with God,
along with those of your own,
in the light of the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises
and of the other areas of knowledge that you possess.
May you find, in this process,
the wisdom you need to grow in the art and understanding of guiding others
more deeply into the mystery of God.
My prayer for you is found in
Ephesians 3:17-21 and in 2Corinthians 1:3-7.
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