Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings

by Janet K. Ruffing. Paulist Press, 2000.

Janet K. Ruffing moves beyond basic, beginners’ challenges in spiritual direction to address issues facing experienced spiritual directors and directees. Such issues include coming to terms with one's true desires and overcoming resistance in spiritual direction. Suggesting that “God longs for us as much as we do for God,” the author tackles some delicate issues: love, mysticism, and the nature of desire. The chapter on transference and counter-transference is particularly valuable (and necessary) during an era when churches are coming to terms with boundary violations, power differentials, and misconduct avoidance. Ruffing places special emphasis on applying the principles in the book to the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. Thought-provoking questions for further reflection are found at the end of each chapter. This book will be particularly useful in spiritual direction courses and workshops, as well as in ongoing professional accountability groups of spiritual directors.