Midwife for the soul (Rohr)

“We are not comfortable with waiting, see it as wasted time and try to avoid it, or fill it with trivial busyness. We value action for its own sake.”

We wind up running on empty, losing our sense of self, and blaming the world for it.

The article quoted here, about spiritual directors, may touch you as a person who needs one, or who can be one as a friend, in a support group, as a partner, or as a parent to young or adult children.

Being a midwife to the soul does not involve a one-time fix.

You may identify with needing the perspectives offered here – with needing a soul midwife – at the same time as being called to serve as one. That can be taken as a call to nurture your very own soul’s birth, over and over.


[W]e give birth and are born ourselves again and again: the birth of God in the soul is our own true birth. . . .

There are those who feel that something is happening to and within them. Their tastes are changing, and their balance has shifted. Sometimes they are brought up short by a crisis: an experience of conversion, a tragic loss, a period of great pain, a sharp awareness of being on a threshold.

As they approach midlife, women especially may feel impelled to explore their spirituality as they discover their new and unexpectedly authoritative voice.

Men and women of all ages and life experiences may sense a call, … the awareness that God expects them to do something with their lives. . . .

…the director’s task is to pay attention, to listen to what is not being said—or to what is being said but minimized. . . .

Spiritual direction is not a crisis ministry, even though the initial impulse to seek out a director may arise from a sense of urgent personal need. The midwife of the spirit is not an expert called in for the dramatic moments,… Like a midwife, she works with the whole person and is present throughout the whole process. She “has time”…offers support through every stage and waits with the birthgiver when “nothing is happening.” Of course, there are no times when nothing is happening.

Spiritual growth can be gradual and hidden; the director-midwife can discern or at least trust that something is indeed “happening.”

As a people, we are not comfortable with waiting. We see it as wasted time and try to avoid it, or at least fill it with trivial busyness. We value action for its own sake. . . . It is hard to trust in the slow work of God. . . . waiting is inevitable, ordained, and fruitful.

Tend only to the birth in you and you will find all goodness and all consolation, all delight, all being and all truth. Reject it and you reject all goodness and blessing. What comes to you in this birth brings with it pure being and blessing. But what you seek or love outside of this birth will come to nothing, no matter what you will or where you will it.

A Midwife for the Soul


Neil D. 2021-06-21

Published by Neil Durso

Just another mid-lifer sharing the journey...

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