“Men’s Ministry” from the reflections of a Sister of Mercy who is a Spiritual Director
During the past 45 years, persons have been requesting me to offer them spiritual direction. This ministry has taken me throughout the three diocese of our state, to many other dioceses in our country and abroad.
While initial preparation to become a “spiritual director” requires in-depth study especially in Scripture, Theology and Prayer, now, after 45 years the term has become mellow with age and experience. To walk with another on their journey of faith becomes ever more simple: “We are walking each other Home to God every day”.
I have experienced this faith deepening in the lives of dedicated lay women and men, married couples, religious sisters and brothers, Catholic priests and clergy of various denominations. In these journeys of faith-deepening, I have discovered something unique as it emerges from the men involved in Men’s Ministry.
Listening to several men share their “take-aways” from the Saturday mornings, three experiences are significant: a) The content of the Men’s Ministry meetings opens doors of faith as an ongoing deepening of one’s relationship with God; b) Faith at its core is relationship, not a work. Such a perception touches all aspects of a man’s life. This can be new, challenging and all-encompassing for a man. Resistance can be an initial reaction. Such resistance requires further honest probing and discovery of one’s faith life; c) The process of each Men’s Ministry session is vital. It requires further honest probing. Through the large group presentation, accompanying prayer and honest small group sharing, men hear other men in their attempts to share their faith journeys.
We live in a present-day culture where men know that they cannot stand alone. They need others to listen, to share, to agree to disagree and to deepen and mature their faith. Emerging from Men’s Ministry, men move to other experiences of faith deepening, such as: small group sharing of their everyday experiences of God; spiritual direction where a man shares with a trusted and prepared other their ongoing home to God in everyday moments. The reality of Community lends support, encouragement and challenge to men in a culture where faith appears silent.”