Carol Ludwig came to spiritual direction during a busy career in the U.S. diplomatic service which took her to Japan, the Philippines, Mexico and Italy. She was formed in spirituality and spiritual direction at the Shalem Institute in Washington, D.C., the Washington Theological Union and Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. Carol is a past coordinator of the Audire Spiritual Direction formation program in Winter Park and the co-founder of the Center for Spiritual Care in Vero Beach. She served for six years on the Coordinating Council of Spiritual Directors International. She offers individual and small group spiritual direction in a variety of settings and welcomes people for extended quiet retreats. She teaches and supervises spiritual directors in formation and trains their supervisors. She also hosts spiritual deepening experiences in many places and formats. Her articles, interviews and book reviews appear in Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction, on whose Editorial Review Board she also serves.
Title of UFCSH talk: “Spiritual Direction: Ancient Roots, Contemporary Resurgence”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Since the early 4th century, and probably well before, people have been consulting spiritual elders to find ways to live healthier, more balanced lives, infused with spirit and open to generously serving others. This practice has taken many forms and been known by many names: spiritual direction, spiritual companioning, spiritual friendship, soul friend and anam cara are just a few. For centuries spiritual direction was reserved for people living committed vows in religious settings. But in later 20th century America there was a resurgence of this practice among lay people seeking spiritual direction.
Carol Ludwig explores how this practice has developed around the world and here in Florida. She evokes how variations have been and can be used successfully in health care settings to help practitioners recommit to their sacred vocation and work more harmoniously with colleagues, patients and families.
Taking a look at Rabbi Samuel Karff’s sacred vocation concept, Parker Palmer’s circles of trust, Christina Puchalski’s healing encounter and Rose Mary Dougherty’s group spiritual direction, she explored methodologies that might help doctors, nurses, chaplains, hospice volunteers, patients, families and healthcare administrators live more satisfying lives, and more deeply into the surprising shifts in today’s health care paradigm. Might this practice breathe new life into weary health care workers?