Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Soul Care in MBS

It has been an exhausting but rewarding experience in teaching Soul Care: The Art and Science of Spiritual Direction in an intensive module 27-31 August 2010 at the wonderful campus of the Malaysia Bible Seminari (MBS) in Kuang, Selangor. There were initial apprehensive in the understanding of spiritual direction especially with its emphasis on the dimensions of spiritual experiences. All the students are evangelicals and most are experienced pastors or pastoral workers. Many of them are studying theology in the seminary. It is understandable that spiritual direction with its emphasis of listening, silence, watching for the movement of the Holy Spirit and the presence of God challenges their evangelical Bible-centred framework. I hope that the lectures, lectio divina, small group sessions and practicums helped to relieve some of their anxieties.

Basically the module is designed in such a way that we begin with ourselves and our relationship with God. This includes being aware of ourselves, our needs and frustrations and how we employ filters when we listen to others. We also need to learn to be aware of the movements of the Holy Spirit in our own lives. This come from experiences of listening to and responding. Only then are we able to discern these movements of the Holy Spirit in others. We also have to learn to be open to others and allow them space to process their spiritual quests. This involves trust and patience. Finally only in love do we speak into the lives of each other. Soul Care is the journeying together of two or more souls towards the awareness and enjoyment of God in whom we move, live our daily lives, and have our being, as we rest in His goodness.

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