When members of the Plenary Council begin unpacking the agenda's 16 questions, they will use a process known as “spiritual conversations”. Br Ian Cribb SJ explains this centuries-old practice. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
The critical role that prayer plays in the various aspects of the spiritual conversations is an obvious difference from some other processes. But it’s also the disposition that we have to ourselves and to others with whom we are entering into this conversation. We come to the conversation praying for an inner freedom to engage with the process.
We work from the premise that the Spirit of God is at work in the world, in the Church, in our mission and in every person. Our desire is to see what the Trinity is trying to do in the world today and to better collaborate in God’s mission. By doing that, we are entering into spiritual conversations.
Without prayer, discernment is empty; we remain in our heads.
Like all conversations, the critical components are speaking and listening. It is intentional speaking and intentional listening that can create the necessary environment for a genuinely spiritual conversation.
When a group enters into spiritual conversation, it leaves room for the Holy Spirit to work. It builds a sense of community and trust. It enhances respects for one another.
The Plenary Council members have already had a chance to experience spiritual conversations in the online environment, so they will be familiar with the process. They will have experienced leaders to guide them through the process, allowing all members to fully enter into the time of discernment. That is critical to this working well.
‘Spiritual conversations’ will aid Plenary Council discernment (ACBC Media Blog)