By Patricia Ranft (auth.)
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Extra info for A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors
It was not her only approach, for Gregory also reveals in the vita that Macrina adjusted her approach to fit the specific needs of Gregory at a specific time. After an eight-year absence Gregory decided to visit her when their brother Basil died, because he was so upset by the loss. ” Then her spiritual direction began. ”52 To this end he begins a full exposition of one of humanity’s most difficult dilemmas, the mind’s need for rational certainty of the existence of the soul after death. Gregory knew what Christianity says about it, but in his grief his faith failed to sustain him.
96 Jerome even privately admitted to Marcella her intellectual equality: “Ask me all the other questions you want when we are alone together. ”97 Fabiola was even more demanding of him. ” Fabiola quizzed him endlessly on biblical passages during the visit. Once, “when she asked me the meaning and reason of each of these, I spoke doubtfully about some, dealt with others in a tone of assurance, and in several instances simply confessed my ignorance. Hereupon she began to press me harder still, expostulating with me as though it were a thing unallowable that I should be ignorant of what I did not know, yet at the same time affirming her own unworthiness to understand mysteries so deep.
Because witness and direction are primarily acts of communication, the articulator must make sure his or her message is spoken in a language that can be comprehended by the audience. Whether it be actions or words, the audience must be able to decipher the meaning if the message is to be received. Because the message must be in the language of the society, every time the language changes, the witness and direction must change also. Witness and direction, therefore, if they be effective must adapt to the audience.
A Woman’s Way: The Forgotten History of Women Spiritual Directors by Patricia Ranft (auth.)