One Loving Heart Sets Another on Fire

Sister Cheryl Keehner’s Blog

It’s summer time. In the darkness of night, the light from fireworks and campfires draw us together. We see the world differently. We discover friendships. We share delight and intimacies. We are thrilled. We are warmed. We make memories and can’t wait until the next time we celebrate “Brother Fire” who St. Francis describes as “beautiful and gay…full of power and strength.”

The experience of awe in the presence of fire is as old as life itself. Fire has been seen as a sign of the presence of the Divine. Spiritual writers often write on an inner fire one discovers in the depths of one’s soul. Spiritual writers also raise up the value of spiritual direction as an aid to discovering fire within. St. Augustine writes that “one loving heart sets another on fire.”

I’ve been praying at Centering Space for 12 yrs. Of all the services offered here I never once considered spiritual direction. I didn’t know what I was missing. An inventory of my spiritual life went like this: Regular retreat time away from distraction? Absolutely. A daily practice of prayer? Yes. Comfort in sharing my own prayer? Sure. Have a spiritual director? I get by with a little help from my friends!

One day last summer I learned that a friend needed a few volunteers to direct in order to get through her certification in the ISI program at John Carroll. I signed on for a year long process. I found my prayer practice shifting. I discovered ways in which the Spirit was moving me to experience Love within my soul and around me in ways I had never noticed. Spiritual direction became for me a journey in faith with a trusted companion as guide. I confess I hadn’t expected what I “got out of spiritual direction” and how valuable it would be in times of personal discernment. My prayer shifted from my head to my heart. My director was there to “fan the flame.”

Check this web page for answers to common questions about spiritual direction. Don’t let your prayer and established spiritual practice become stagnant. Don’t let a prompting from the Spirit go unanswered.

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