Last summer, the preparatory committee of the VMY Egypt leaders’ summer camp chose a theme for the camp which was initially described as both vague and traditional. That theme was “introducing spiritual accompaniment”.
I was surprised when I found out that most of the sessions would be based on contributions from the members themselves and not through priests or Daughters of Charity as usual. And I was even more surprised after the sessions because the time proved to be insufficient to discuss the numerous questions and points that had been raised. This showed me that despite the fact that we live in an age of social media and instantaneous Communication, young people have a longing for some form of guidance. We live at a time of extreme consumerism which is not very different from that of the early church. The church faced those challenges as a community rather than individually and that reality is pointed out to us in the various letters of the New Testament, for example, we must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).
Spiritual accompaniment may sound like something in
which a wise person directs and advises one who is inexperienced or confused. Yet that is not the case, true accompaniment is based on understanding, listening, trust and humility … and there is a mutual interaction between the persons involved in this process. On a personal level, I am greatly indebted to my spiritual companions because with them I have discovered the essence of understanding God’s word. From my humble experience, I have learned that a spiritual companion can be anyone who has a good understanding of the Word and who also has a mature heart and is concerned about giving glory of God. Let us not forget the importance of opening open our hearts to the word of God, which can (through the instrumentality of different people) touch our lives in various ways.
COUNCILOR OF ASIA, OCEANIA AND MIDDLE EAST