Page 8 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 19
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Dr. Fernando Garzon (US) is the Associate Dean for the College of
                                             Health and Behavioral Studies at Regent University. A licensed
                                             psychologist and professor in Regent’s PsyD program in clinical
                                             psychology, Dr. Garzon’s research and wri�ngs focus on spiritual
                                             interven�ons in clinical prac�ce, mul�cultural issues, and lay
                                             Chris�an counseling approaches. His clinical experience encom-
                                             passes outpa�ent prac�ce, managed care, hospital, pastoral
                                             care, and church se�ngs.

        Introduc�on to the main ar�cles to Spiritual Forma�on

        This edi�on of Chris�an Psychology Around the           Marcin Gaja follows with an in-depth explora�-
        World explores Chris�an spiritual forma�on.             on of prayer in his clinical work. His statement,
        Spiritual forma�on goes beyond proper theo-             “Very few people really pray” (p. 7) startled me
        logical beliefs and moral conduct. While these          out of a spiritual slumber. He invites us to con-
        are important and included, spiritual forma�-           sider how the prac�ce of contempla�on can
        on traverses deeply into the profound experi-           expose our false self. The journey con�nues to
        en�al aspects of our rela�onship with God,              a deepened love of God and rediscovery of our
        ourselves, and our neighbor. It has been prac�-         real or authen�c self in the clinical recovery
        ced in Judeo-Chris�an history for thousands of          and healing process.
        years and defined in many different ways. In a
        basic sense, spiritual forma�on begins as a re-         V. Rev. Gregory Jensen’s third ar�cle examines
        sponse to God’s generous invita�on (Merton,             the work of “a keen psychologist of the spiritu-
        1987). It includes a variety of inward, outward,        al life” (p. 14), Bernard of Clairvaux in regard to
        and communal prac�ces (Foster, 1998), and its           the intricacies of love of God, neighbor, and
        goal is Christlikeness (Willard, 2002). It is consi-    ourselves. Jensen describes St. Bernard’s four
        dered a central theme across Protestant, Ca-            stages of love and connects this spiritual deve-
        tholic, and Orthodox faith tradi�ons (Moon &            lopmental process to the work of psychothera-
        Benner, 2004). The current issue elaborates             py. An end goal is that “the soul comes to un-
        further on Chris�an spiritual forma�on and fo-          derstand the eschatological nature of love” (p.
        cuses on three important areas.                         14).

        In Nicolene Joubert’s opening ar�cle, she ad-           In addi�on to these three ar�cles, we recogni-
        dresses a cri�cal need—the applica�on of spi-           ze the importance of community dialog in spi-
        ritual forma�on principles in the lifelong deve-        ritual forma�on. Accordingly, Sam Berg (Cana-
        lopment of leaders. What phases do leaders go           da), Tomasz Niemirowski (Poalnd), and Janet
        through and how does spiritual forma�on rela-           Warren (Canada) interact in their commentari-
        te to these areas? Nicolene Joubert gives us a          es with themes from the three ar�cles. Their
        sense of how spiritual forma�on principles can          discussions deepen our understanding and
        help a leader progress from “commitment to              challenge us to careful, prayerful examina�on
        maturity to finishing well” (p. 5).                     of this journal edi�on’s content.

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