Mepkin Abbey Announces New Offering for Spiritual Direction
“I remember Richard Rohr saying that real growth in the spiritual life is found in what happens in-between retreats. Spiritual Direction or “Spiritual Accompaniment” is a long-revered practice that tends to that growth. Donna Meyer has joined us as volunteer adjunct staff to coordinate our networks of professionally trained spiritual directors. I am happy to take this opportunity to introduce Donna to you and share her professional background as a trained spiritual director, as well as, a trained spiritual director supervisor. We will also be introducing all the other professionally trained spiritual directors who have come forth to make this ministry available. You will also find here a spiritual director interest form if you would like for us to help you find a spiritual director.” -Fr. Guerric Heckel
Donna Meyer became interested in health and spirituality and felt called to serve others. She has a diverse nursing background, and her attraction to
spirituality led her to study theology, where she developed an interest in spiritual direction and formation. The combination of these two disciplines has convinced her that each person’s story is sacred, and that God meets people where they are.
An experienced spiritual/retreat director, Donna helps people pay attention to their relationship with God. She incorporates Ignatian Spirituality into her practice and has accompanied people through the Spiritual Exercises using the 19th Annotation.
In addition to her nursing education, she received her BA magna cum laude in Psychology and Religion from Smith College, Northampton, MA, her MDiv from Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA, and her Certificate for Spiritual Direction Supervision from Together in the Mystery. She has completed 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is a member of Spiritual Directors International.
She and her husband, Paul, have three adult children, four grandchildren, and one very active goldendoodle.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Let’s begin with an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams, because it speaks very well of the process of spiritual formation.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“The skin horse is wise in telling us that becoming real happens over time. To become real, he says, you cannot break easily, have sharp edges, or be carefully kept. You must allow yourself to be vulnerable, to be loved, & to love in return.
Spiritual direction is one method or ministry to help us in our journey to becoming real, transformed, and transparent before God. All aspects of our lives affect our relationship with God, therefore ordinary concerns about family, friends, or work, challenges, losses, joys, and celebrations are shared with your director/companion. As you ponder these things with your trained listener who is also on this faith journey, you recognize God’s presence and grace in your daily life.
Although spiritual direction may deal with trust, intimacy, and vulnerability and focus on feelings, behavior, and personhood, it is not psychotherapy or pastoral counseling. The primary purpose of spiritual direction is to help the person seeking direction to attend to and respond to God. It is learning to tell one’s story and restructuring that story on the light of the gospel. The goal is a more intimate relationship with God, self, and others.” -Donna Meyer
If you are interested, please fill out the form at the following link,
and we will reach out to you: https://forms.gle/yg6RiKhLAvQVBiYP6
If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com .