colloquium was held
November 13, 2017
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Fifty-Five Spiritual Directors assembled on Monday, November 13th to participate in the Annual DCSM Colloquium for Spiritual Directors. Elizabeth Liebert, SNJM was the speaker and her topic: “Finding Hope Again in the Spiritual Direction Relationship”.
Dr. Liebert is currently formation director for the Sisters of Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. She has been a Professor of Spiritual Life at San Francisco Theological Seminary and a Core Doctoral Faculty member of GTU since 1987. Dr. Liebert has authored numerous books on spirituality including: The Soul of Discernment: A Spiritual Practice for Communities and Institutions; The Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making; A Retreat with the Psalms: Resources for Personal and Communal Prayer; The Spiritual Exercises Reclaimed: Uncovering Liberating Possibilities for Women.
The group explored the meaning of hope, where it is found and what are possible components. Hope is a Virtue, a gift from God, yet one that asks effort from us. Faith is our belief in who God is but Hope is relationship with God and a walk into the future.
Sister Liebert led the group in several spiritual practices which could be used for personal development as well as being useful tools for Directees. She presented Contemplative Listening, Ways of Discernment, Examen of Hope, etc. – all solidly grounded in a theological base yet inspirational in tone.
In conclusion, Beth encouraged the Spiritual Directors to embrace their own health and well-being. She recommended the following six items:
- Prepare for and regularize deep prayer and silence – she suggested stretching with new forms of prayer or longer periods of time apart. She encouraged persistence in prayer, especially when feeling less hopeful.
- Self-care and balance: good diet, exercise, rest, solid relationships
- Act against any source of dis-ease that trips up hope, be creative
- Create a community of hope with people where you can be yourself and be imperfect
- Engage in action (Agency): Do something for others, collaborate
- See and seek opportunities to gain perspective: humor, beauty, conversation
The day was full and fruitful. The group found all to be beneficial and expressed gratitude to Elizabeth.