Nature for Soul Care and Spiritual Direction
April 8 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm$40
Nature has a soul. She herself is a form of spiritual practice providing soul care and spiritual direction. The natural world guides us into new ways spiritual awareness and contemplative transformation. Nature awakens us to wonder and gratitude as we encounter a sense of solace, belonging, and healing.
This retreat will provide practice, space and time to develop discernment, vulnerability, and trust as we build new connections to nature’s hidden capacities for soul care and spiritual guidance. We will have an opportunity to explore a few of the great spiritual writers from the Christian tradition who experience and teach the guidance and care available to those who attend to creation. Whether as house plant, garden, city park, wildlife center, or wilderness, we can devote ourselves to experiencing nature in a new light: not as an object for our manipulation and destruction, but as sacred subject that is itself longing to accompany us on our spiritual journeys. In this sense, subject-to-subject, there is mutual reciprocity between nature and humans. As are humans, nature is a gift, she invites, and nurtures, provides hospitality and shelter, teaches and guides. The retreat will facilitate attending to places, spaces and times in the natural world that remind us of who we are in the eyes of God. The scripture of creation is an open book in constant conversation with both humanity and its Maker. We will encounter nature as Sophia, our spiritual Mother and our companion here on earth.
Please be sure to come prepared to spend time in nature; as needed, bring warm clothes and shoes and dress comfortably.
Steven Chase, Ph.D. is Professor of Spirituality at the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Spiritually at OST. Dr. Chase holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and Ph.D. in Spirituality and Historical Theology from Fordham University. A spiritual director and retreat leader, he has also written several books in the areas of mysticism, contemplative prayer, devotional practices, interreligious spirituality, and a commentary on the book of Job. A recent book is Nature as Spiritual Practice. Steven is also a Texas Master Naturalist.
Fees include the cost of lunch.
20% discount for groups of 5 or more! Use code soul5 at checkout.
For information, or to register by phone, contact Brenda at (210) 341-1366 EXT 212