I'm reading Tilden Edwards' Spiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction:
The records of Jesus' ministry marked the path of spiritual guidance taken throughout the Church's history. Through a great variety of forms, there have been these constants:[p. 41]
- a sense of serving and sharing with rather than "lording it over" another
- a sense of confidence in human capacity and calling to be in contact with the Holy, and to mediate it to one another through word, sacrament, and deed
- an integral relation of moral and spiritual development
- a vision of bearing, struggling hope in the final reconciliation of all creation in its intimate Source
- a willingness to work with all sorts and conditions of people, one to one, in groups, in crowds, near and far
- a valuation of ritual/sacramental means of grace: bread and wine, water, hands, and words of reconciliation.
These "constants" for human guidance, I believe, are as much living waters for us today as two thousand years ago.