Sometime back, I came across an out-of-print book by Jerome M Neufelder & Mary C. Coelho called Writings on Spiritual Direction. It’s a rich collection of quotations on this theme, many of which I haven’t found easily available in other publications. Below is a good reminder on the critical need of prayer for those who give spiritual guidance to others:
“Without personal prayer, our ministry will be empty, our words meaningless, our direction totally fruitless. Without prayer we shall never be able to support souls in their weaknesses. They have given themselves to us as those upon whom they may trust, but without prayer we would be the cause of their falls, since they will not find in us the strength and light they need. We being dark and weak ourselves, it is only by the means of prayer that we can be enlightened and made strong in Christ Jesus. All the failures which arise in the direction of souls come from the fact that directors do not apply themselves to the holy exercise of prayer. [Jean-Jacques Olier, French priest and founder of the Society of Saint Sulpice, 1608-57]” (Jerome M. Neufelder and Mary C. Coelho, editors. Writings on Spiritual Direction. New York: The Seabury Press, 1982, p. 89.)
P.S. – This morning at 5:54am, our firstborn son, Sean, became a legal adult. Where have eighteen years gone?