"For as to the spiritual direction of my soul, I think that God himself has taken it in hand from the start and still looks after it."--Simone Weil, from Waiting for God
My Faith and My Spiritual Mentoring MinistryA fundamental fact of my spirituality is my Conservative Quaker faith(1). I do not require that people I mentor be Quakers, and I have no desire or intention to convert anyone to Quakerism. However, I cannot escape my religious convictions and experiences. They have led me to accept the following truths.
Quakerism is an experiential religion. I know God in the ways I experience God. You know God in the ways you experience God. God casts the widest possible net. When we seek the Truth, what we find is God.
While I believe the goal of the spiritual mentoring relationship is to release the person from that relationship, I also believe that once we have forged a spiritual mentoring relationship, that this relationship lasts forever, even after we stop meeting on a regular basis. It is always possible to return to regularly meeting, if new issues arise and we both feel clear to proceed.
I do not believe that I am necessarily called to be a spiritual nurturer to every person who requests it. I provide spiritual mentoring as the Spirit guides, and cannot mentor those I feel I am not supposed to.
I do not accept payment for my spiritual mentoring. It is a ministry given freely by God and so I must, in due humility, return it as a free gift to my community.
--Clement of Alexandria
NOW concerning them that do go to the Quarterly Meeting, they must be substantial Friends, that can give a Testimony of your Sufferings, and how things are amongst you in every particular Meeting. So that none that are raw or weak, that are not able to give a Testimony of the Affairs of the Church and Truth, may go on behalf of the particular Meetings to the Quarterly Meetings, but may be nursed up in your Monthly Meetings, and there fitted for the Lord's Service . . . for the ...