What is Faith Sharing?

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Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND, in her book Group Spiritual Direction: Community for Discernment, explains that:

Faith sharing is the practice in which two or more people share experiences about their relationship with God: their awareness of God’s Presence in the events of their lives; their struggles to believe in God’s Presence; the ways in which they have responded to or resisted God’s Presence in their lives; places of suffering, confusion, or joy that have been the entry point for their prayer. It is grounded in humble acceptance of the truth that each of us is a person honored and loved by God and that God is present and active in all of our lives. It assumes the belief that God often chooses to minister to us through the sharing and support of others.

Reverent Listening
Intentional faith sharing is done in an atmosphere of reverent listening and confidentiality, surrounded by prayer. People are asked to share their experiences simply and to receive the sharing of others without judgment or attempts to change the experience. There are numerous possibilities for the content of what is shared, e. g., a response to such things as Scripture, a film, or some form of prayer experienced with a group.

Responding in Prayer
In faith sharing itself, each person’s sharing is followed only by a prayerful silence during which the group holds the person in prayer. If there is any dialogue, it comes only after everyone has shared. It is generally related to the common experience of the group rather than the experiences of specific individuals.

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