Coach Galen

the coaching practice of Galen Hiestand

A Perspective on Spiritual Companionship

The following is a beautiful and insightful perspective by a Spiritual Director.

“To be a spiritual friend one must have detachment, discretion, and discernment, with all that prepares for those gifts. Spiritual companionship is a gentle art, demanding a willingness to listen as if one had a third ear attuned to the inner self. It is neither psychotherapy nor is it the sacrament of reconciliation. Sometimes one needs to confront, but far more often the best intervention of the spiritual guide is in parabolic language, nudging the friend into a new way of seeing. The journey belongs to the other and that person’s uniqueness must always be honored.

“The friend of the soul is an instrumental image. Such a person is not to be a “buddy,” but someone who listens, comforts, and supports. He or she is a means, not an end. It is important for me not to think too highly of myself in this relationship, but to stand in awe of what God is doing in the life of the other person. Often this requires me to get out of the way. When in ignorance I have nothing to say, I must remain silent.” –from Spirituality for Ministry by Urban T. Holmes III

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