Walking the Spiritual Exercises: Praying with Scripture on the Pilgrim Trail
The most popular route of the Camino de Santiago begins near France and extends westward for much of the width of northern Spain, ending at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. It’s a route that’s been walked by Christian pilgrims since the 9th century and takes most pilgrims about a month to complete. Consider one possible way of praying while on the trail, namely, by engaging in a 30-day immersion in the Spiritual Exercises, a spiritual discipline created by the 16th century Spanish Christian Ignatius of Loyola. The Exercises invite the retreatant-pilgrim into daily prayer with the Gospels, with the hope that he/she will experience a closer walk with Jesus. This is the hope that inspired Susan, her husband, and a brave band of faith-filled friends to walk the Camino and pray the Exercises this year.
Susan S. Phillips has served as Executive Director at New College Berkeley since 1994, and prior to this role was the Academic Dean. Dr. Phillips is keenly interested in how we live our faith in daily life, drawing insight from the diverse fields of the social sciences, biblical spirituality, and practical theology. She is a sociologist and meets regularly with individuals for spiritual direction. She teaches in a wide range of contexts, serves as supervisor for spiritual directors, and consults for Christian organizations. In addition to being a regular contributor to summer classes at Regent College, she teaches at the Graduate Theological Union, Fuller Theological Seminary (Northern California), and San Francisco Theological Seminary (Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction). Dr. Phillips sat on the Board of Governors at Regent College for eight years and on the editorial boards of Radix, Presence, and Reflective Practice. Her most recent book is The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy. With her husband Steve, she worships at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, and has served there as an elder.
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