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Euro-Mediterranean Province of the Society of Jesus
Jesuits News Formation Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment

Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment

On Saturday, 16 March, the annual study day of the J.E.T. (Jesuit Encounter Training – Centre for Psychosocial Educational Intervention) took place in Genoa. The theme chosen, “Counselling and spiritual accompaniment”, attracted about eighty people, including students and alumni of the School of Counselling of Genoa and many guests, in an atmosphere of sharing different experiences and the desire for an ever more conscious and liberating accompaniment service.

Self Harmony

The focus of the reflection on this day was the recently published book by Fr. Vittorio Soana sj, Edizioni San Paolo, Counselling and Spiritual Accompaniment. Integral Ecology and Self Harmony. . The integral ecology of which Pope Francis speaks in Laudato si’ is a constant challenge in the experience of accompaniment. It is a matter of sustaining the processes of harmonisation in and of the person, in his or her insertion into a community and environment that is much broader than what can be immediately verbalised in a problem-solving perspective.

An integral prayer

At a more fundamental level, this approach offers the possibility of moving from a simplistic anthropocentric vision to an anthropological vision of an ecological-relational type (according to the ‘Timothy Ingold’ method), where one can better grasp the interdependence of the person with the community, the environment and nature. Besides Fr. Vittorio, the speakers included Marco Canali (lecturer in the history of the ancient Church), Fr Claudio Doglio (lecturer in Sacred Scripture) and Dr Maria Luisa De Blasio (psychotherapist). Finally, Fr Diego Taddei, OFM, proposed an in-depth study of the ecology of creation in St Francis of Assisi, starting from the Canticle of the brother Sun (or of the creatures), while Fr Claudio Rajola, SJ (psychologist) followed the dynamics of the contemplatio ad amorem. In this exceptionally “integral” prayer proposal, which concludes the Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius sketches the style of one who, by grace, approaches life in a contemplative way.

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