49. The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith

From Publisher: The Critical Journey, at its core, is a description of the spiritual journey: our response to our faith in God with the resulting changes that follow. In this book, authors Hagberg and Guelich address the following issues: the struggle to find meaning and wholeness, the crisis of values and identity at mid-life, the quest for self-actualization, the healing of early religious experiences, and questions about the spiritual journey. Their goal is to help us understand where we are on our individual faith journeys and also appreciate where others are in theirs. The Critical Journey does not reveal exactly how or when we need to move along in our personal pilgrimages, nor does it offer formulas for spiritual growth. Rather, it describes six phases of the spiritual journey and illustrates how people act and think while in these stages. This is an excellent guide for those who are wrestling with their faith and wondering how others have resolved their “dark nights of the sou…

Nurturing From a King

Type Two EnneaThought® for November 14th
When Twos learn to nurture themselves and look after their own needs, they achieve a balance in which loving and satisfying relationships are not only possible—they will happen as surely as the sun rises. Presence alone will allow your nurturing of others to transform into genuine self-nurturing. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 149)

This has been such a lovely season for me of achieving balance. I am loving my time in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. I prefer not to call it "self-nurturing" but "nurturing from God." God is speaking to me! I also love the balance of exercise (which is also my work) and sitting for ministry and writing (my other work).  It is a good season. 

This week, I am at the "Call of the King" in the Exercises, and the free conversation "My Liege" and I are having are so precious. I am growing. I am learning. I like that this never stops with the LORD! I am excited to hear w…

Friday Fifteen Minute Freewrite

So much to say and so little time to say it. I have been lax in my freewrites lately. I love them so. The queen of the freewrites just had a birthday. We still love each other, but she doesn't really have time for me anymore, and I am so happy for her success in life and happy for the role I played in her journey and she in mine. Because she "doesn't have time" for me doesn't mean that I am unloved or unwanted. Something I am learning the Enneagram Type Two personality type. I have to let go of the fear that I am unloved and unwanted. I also need to go after what I want, and I don't think I necessarily want the deep relationship that we once had. I really love her, but we are going in different directions. We will definitely meet up and have a lovefest when we meet again (which I am sure will happen), but she is not a day to day friend, and that is OK! 

So today has been a phenomenal day. Because George listened to God and God told him to ask for every Friday …

48. What's Your Decision? How to Make Choices with Confidnece and Clarity

This book had a little bit more meat to it than the other book on Ignatian discernment that I read earlier this year when it was part of my spiritual direction curriculum. This is the replacement, and I think it is a good choice. 

The authors do a great job of explaining the principles of decision making that Ignatius laid out in the Spiritual Exercises. I particularly liked that they used scenarios and walked you through the principles for each scenario. It was quite helpful. 

What is so funny is that I went to a "Wisdom of the Enneagram" Seminar, and the Catholic priest who taught it tied the Enneagram types and Ignatian principles of discernment together. I thought that was providential that I happened to reading this book at the same time!

47. Funny in Farsi

This is an easy and fun read. I read it in 2014. My book club was looking for something that would make them laugh after reading so many "heavy" books on World War II last year. So I suggested this. I love Iranian people and the book gives you insight into their wonderful, family-oriented culture.  It was the delightful, funny antics of a family who moved to Southern California in the 1970's. I highly recommend this book.
EnneaThought® for the DayType Two EnneaThought® for November 4th
Today, can you discover positive qualities in yourself that you have not developed yet? Healthy Twos have immense goodwill and generosity of spirit. They are attracted to spiritual values such as love of God and neighbor, loving others as themselves, and forgiving others. (The Power of the Enneagram audiotapes)

Holy Will

Type Two EnneaThought® for October 27th

The Holy Idea for Type Two is Holy Will, which means you can relax your efforts because everything really is "in God's hands." See if you can connect with this truth today. (Understanding the Enneagram, 42) 

So I had to understand what the "Holy Idea" thing was. It is a another concept I hope to understand better when I go to the Enneagram Seminar next week. Here is what this website says: 

"The Holy Ideas of the Enneagram are in service to the alleviation of suffering and the recovery of our true nature through remembering our Essence qualities.  The Holy Ideas remind us of who we truly are beyond our attachments and identification with the construct of the egoic mind.  As we observe our attachments and defense of the ego we become aware of the ways that we suffer.  We can choose to end our suffering.  Suffering is truly optional.  Pain is endemic to the human condition and must be faced squarely and experienced.  Suff…

46. The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly

These two authors are sages in spiritual direction. I found their wisdom engaging, and it added to my knowledge in the field. I am eating all of this reading up! So glad I made the switch to this curriculum for personal growth.  I also liked that they are Ignatian in their spiritual direction. 

As we grow older . . . we must move towards forgiveness, towards letting go and accepting responsibility for our lives at the present moment. This means letting go of grudges and resentments that drag us back into the past and sap our enthusiasm for the present and future. Forgiveness and letting go free us from the endless repetition of past stories of injustice and hurt that we tell as if they were the events of yesterday. . . . But perhaps the greatest and most difficult challenge of later life is to forgive ourselves. We are called upon to forgive our own failings and mistakes and sins, and to love ourselves as God loves us. Forgiving ourselves means letting go of our regrets, accepting our limitations, and coming to peace with the decisions and actions that we can no longer change. Forgiving ourselves is the final fruit of accepting God’s forgiveness, and the only path to peace. “The Spiritual Exercises and a Spirituality for the Later Years” by Gerald M. Fagin…

45. Seeking God Together: An Introduction to Group Spiritual Direction

This was probably my favorite book about spiritual direction. It was simple and practical not just for group but for individual spiritual direction.

44. The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call of Self-Discovery