I’ve been exploring spiritual formation and leadership development resources lately and have come across several great resources. One of them is the concept of ‘Soul Care’ and the accompanying resources that their site/training provides.
I appreciate the link that Mindy Caliguire maintains between soul care and leadership, and how she points to the truth that havingn a healthy and intentionally cared for soul is what then lets us be healthy in ministry. There are resources and articles related to serving others, spiritual friendships, prayer, solitude, the Word, and other so-called “soul care pillars.” And below, a summary of why this is needed in the first place (found on their webpage):
“Soul Care helps you live from a healthy soul and wisely lead others towards authentic transformation–Spiritual Formation–into the character or likeness of Jesus Christ. Our resources and events are experiential and relationship-minded, built on a foundation of seven core spiritual practices.
Like all of us, on the road of your spiritual journey you need to stop occasionally – for conversation, the chance to read, to rest, to enjoy the view. These breaks – these times of sitting still — allow us to grow in ways both big and small….
So what makes a soul healthy? Quite simply, a soul is healthy to the extent that it experiences a strong connection to and receptivity to God. Jesus was clear: ‘If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing’ (John 15:5, TNIV). However, connecting this spiritual reality to how we actually live is another matter. ”
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee, a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ’s sake, Amen
—St. Ambrose of Milan, 339-397
To read a concise and clear history of the celebration of Ash Wednesday, read this article.