An article on page 16 in the March 2011 issue of the MB Herald called Text Message: What the wilderness teaches is another article of several in this issue about Lent. Because they have not practiced this tradition until recently, it informs the Mennonites that March 9 begins the season of Lent(1), a time of slowing down, recalibrating priorities, and remembering the lessons the wilderness teaches. It’s written by Lori Matties, a spiritual director from Winnipeg who attends River East MB Church, where members participate in Lenten Services, Contemplative services of song, readings and silence, and a Maundy Thursday(2) service.
The Mennonite Church Manitoba list of Manitoba Spiritual Directors states that Lori Matties took an AMBS Spiritual Direction course, as well as several courses in the Enneagram (3), and has been ‘directing’ since the winter of 2005. Mennonite Church Manitoba also states:
Over the past few years, spiritual direction is a ministry that has been increasingly requested and appreciated by Mennonites. Both clergy and lay persons have chosen to meet with Spiritual Directors as a way of nurturing their relationship with God. Sensing this and recognizing the need for more trained Spiritual Directors, Mennonite Church Manitoba (MCM), in conjunction with AMBS (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary), offered two training programs for Spiritual Directors.
The list you find below is a directory of Mennonites within Mennonite Church Manitoba (and a few from other denominations who’ve taken the training we offered) that are qualified and available to offer the ministry of spiritual direction… These persons have also committed themselves to the ethical standards of Spiritual Directors International (Guidelines for Ethical Conduct can be purchased for approximately $2.00 each from SDI, PO Box 3584, Bellevue, WA 98009 or their website: http://www.sdiworld.org/html/member.htm).
Another Manitoba spiritual direction website (www.spiritualdirection.ca) which tells us (here) that Lori Matties is an “Ecumenical Christian with background in several denominations” also links to Spiritual Directors International (www.sdiworld.org).
What exactly is Spiritual Directors International? Lighthouse Trails Research tells us:
Spiritual Directors International (SDI) is an interspiritual “learning community committed to advancing spiritual direction around the world” with a membership that “consists of people from many nations and many faiths.” According to SDI, spiritual direction is “the contemplative practice of helping another person or group to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life,” and they respond “to this call by tending the holy around the world and across traditions. Ray Yungen discusses SDI in A Time of Departing:
To underscore the scope and reach of the contemplative prayer movement let’s look at the numbers put out by an organization called Spiritual Directors International (SDI). On their website this group gives ample evidence of what their practices are. In one national conference, the following was presented: This workshop offers an opportunity to study and experience the director’s role in a person’s move into the beginning and early stages of contemplative prayer, silence, and openness to new sorts of praying. One of the objectives of SDI is “Tending the holy around the world and across traditions.”
Spiritual Directors International is an interfaith organization that will not only help you find a spiritual director regardless of your religion, but will also help realize world peace through their ecumenical efforts via contemplation techniques.
The occultic Enneagram? Ecumenism, Lent, and Spiritual Direction? How much longer with the Mennonites continue to promote contemplative spirituality and the traditions of the Roman Catholic church which their forefather Menno Simons renounced?
If the MB Herald is attempting to point readers to Jesus Christ, they seem to be missing the mark.
ENDNOTES & COMMENTARY:
What is the meaning of Lent?
What is Maundy Thursday?
(3) The Enneagram has occultic roots which have not been thoroughly purged (if they can be), and it has opened itself to theological error and social and psychological misuse. See:
Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagram by Mitchell Pacwa, S.J.
Christian Research Institute Journal
Spiritual Direction to Where?
UPDATE: Important note:
The link to the Mennonite Church Manitoba web page of Manitoba Spiritual Directors (above) strangely disappeared this morning (April 1st). For this reason, Menno-lite is using a recovery link so that readers can still see this page. Since the Spiritual Direction page has been available on-line since 2007, but disappeared the day after Menno-lite blogged about it, it’s fairly safe to assume this is more than coincidence, and has most likely been removed to prevent the truth from being known. If this is not the case, Menno-lite apologizes for jumping to conclusions and insinuating that the Mennonite leadership would try to deceive the people and attempt to hide the facts.