Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction
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Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Margaret Guenther shares with the reader a loving and evocative meditation on the experience of spiritual direction from the perspective of a wise and hospitable spiritual director, who is also a woman, wife, mother, teacher, and priest.
Published September 1st 1992 by Darton Longman and Todd (first published 1992)
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I've read several works on spiritual direction and what I most appreciated about this was the author's down to earth approach to these matters. She begins by speaking of herself as an "amateur" in these things, which carries both the notion of learner and lover. At points I've been put off by the professionalization of spiritual direction. Her test of a calling to this is simply that people begin to trust themselves deeply to one.

She begins by describing how she welcomes strangers, those new to...more
Beginning readings for a Stillpoint workshop I'll be taking in a few weeks. I'm not sure how I feel about Spiritual Direction. Seems an awful lot like psychotherapeutic work sneaks into this, and I hesitate to go there with anyone. I also want to work with groups to explore spirituality--not so into this one-on-one stuff, as I think it breeds transference in a very intense way, and I don't think that's particularly good for people. So, I have my qualms about "spiritual direction". It also seems...more
I read this book with a group of friends who like to read peace related books. This one was written for those who are interested in becoming spiritual directors, but I found that much of what is presented could relate to the field of mediation. The task of a spiritual director, if I understand correctly, is to listen nonjudgementally and as someone tries to clarify their thinking, beliefts, etc through sharing them with another. the main differences in mediation that I see is that since you are...more
Rebecca Angel
I've been reading this book for several months now, one section at a time and then writing in my journal. I am not a spiritual director, but in all our lives we will be called to listen. Margaret Guenther is both practical and deeply moving in how she describes how to best help others find their path. During the course of reading this book I have been a listener to someone in need, and tried to remember that I don't need to have any answers, just provide the space for the person to find their wa...more
If you are a provider of pastoral care, interested in becoming a spiritual director, or would just like to be a better listener, this book is an enjoyable, practical, and extremely informative guide. Margaret Guenther gives generously of herself through the text, and her extensive experience and expertise--which includes work as a teacher, hospital chaplain, and Episcopal priest, in addition to spiritual director--informs every aspect of her writing and sharing. She calls herself an "amateur," b...more
A gentle introduction to the practice of spiritual direction. While a good book for anyone, I believe that the book, especially the last two chapters , is more likely to resonate deeply with women. Torn between 3 and 4 stars. I will read a second time in a year and might bump up my rating then.
D.j. Lang
I don't plan on being a spiritual director, but I enjoyed much of this book. It could help anyone be a better listener. Much as I would love to see any man or woman in ministry read it, I know that there are those who would disagree with parts of this book (hopefully only parts).
Charlise Hill-Larson
One of my all-time favorite books. Guenther is also on the faculty of the Spriitual Direction Institute where I trained. I return to her work again and again.
Deb Weina
This was one of my required books to read for my class and I really enjoyed the insights from the author. Easy to read and insightful. Good material that I know will come in handy as I move through the course work and practium.
This was a good introduction to the practice of spiritual direction and an encouraging read as far as the contemplative life in general goes. Be sure to keep your eye out for the mass market paperback surely coming out soon.
This was the first book I was assigned to read for the two year program I'm taking through the Haden Institute. It provides an excellent overview of the practice of Spiritual Direction.
Great resource for those seeking ways to create space in their lives and relationships to authentically listen to the "other" and to the God who abides in that holy space...
Jun 21, 2007 Janis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the topic
Guenther's writing style is very readable. She brings warmth and humanity to a challenging topic. Her writing is honest and direct, encouraging and sensitive.
For those who find themselves in a postion of influence, this book seems to be a thoughtful guide for personal responsibility as well as wisdom.
Very good book about listening to others - instead of trying to give advice. People sometimes just need an ear, rather than 'to do' lists.
Rod White
Great help. Guenther tilts the discussion toward a female understanding of the process. I especially appreciated the imagery of midwifery.
Amazing. This book gives me vision. Sensitive, informed, crazy-compassionate--I want to grow to be more like Margaret Guenther.
vrey interesting and informative...
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“Lighten up" (don't) turn prayer into a work but listen for God and let oneself be surprised. Overly rigid adherence to a spiritual direction built around formal liturgical adherence and highly structured prayer time can work against the sanctification of the ordinary. Christ is effectively imprisoned, to be visited at stated times and otherwise ignored".” 1 likes
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