In Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of The Gospel), he is encouraging all to be involved in spiritual direction. This is a great verification of the important work of Open Door Ministries and the Spritual Direction Institute in the services and information they provide to the church. Below is an excerpt of Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 169-173) where Pope Francis writes about the need for everyone to be initiated into the “art of accompaniment.”:
Personal accompaniment in processes of growth
169) …In our world, ordained ministers and other pastoral workers can make present the fragrance of Christ’s closeness and his personal gaze. The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5). The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life.
Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) pdf – full text
Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) Vatican website – full text