This summer I’ve been working on a project for my Doctor of Ministry degree. The project is called, “Walking and Talking with Holy Partners”
The purpose of the project is to see how hearing and reflecting on the narratives of men and women who are perceived to be “holy” might impact our own spiritual narrative. The process has been amazing as each time I present a session I find myself going deeper into the material. So far we’ve explored: Desmund Tutu and Mother Teresa; Benedict and Scholastic; Francis and Clare; and Martin de Poress and Rose of Lima.
While I may not understand everything about these folks, I am noticing that as I consider their stories I am coming to see more clearly God’s action in my life. One of the temptations for me, as an educator, is to get into the head stuff – but the heart of my program is not about knowledge it is about story and practices. So I invite the participants to engage some of the practices of the holy partners. I offer for your late summer consideration a few of the practices we’ve explored:
- Reconciliation and forgivenss
- Formal prayer such as: Mass, the Divine Office, the Rosary
- Spending time reading the “scripture” of nature
- Journal writing
- Use of the imagination
- Silent Meditation
Of course this list is not all inclusive, nor are the holy partners the “inventors” of any of the above practices. I do believe that every now and then we need to stretch our spiritual life a bit and try something new, something which may at first feel uncomfortable. If you’re interested in learning more about spiritual practices you might consider reading Soul Feast written by Marjorie Thompson. She provides a clear, simple, and solid overview of many of the above practices and a few others as well.