Spiritual accompaniment-patient listening and honest openness has become widespread among Christians of many traditions in recent years. Is this modern application of an ancient 'discernment of spirits' the best way for individual persons and groups of Christians to be formed as the People of God? Can anyone today accompany ather person's spiritual experience without a sound kwledge of psychology? Do spiritual accompaniment and psychological therapy overlap? Can one replace the other? Should an accompanist also be a therapist, as some have suggested? Writing from his years of experience in a cistercian monastery, in which spiritual accompaniment is a living tradition, the author reflects on some first steps towards answering these questions.
Andre Louf, OCSO (+2010), served as abbot of Cistercian Abbey of Mont des Cats in northern France for 35 years until his retirement in 1997. His previous books in English include The Cistercian Way, Tuning In To Grace, Mercy in Weakness, Grace Can Do More, and The Way of Humility all published by Cistercian Publications.