For Parish Nurses

Spiritual Development

The following devotion is taken from a book I recently discovered while browsing the Church Health website.  It is a wonderful devotional for caregivers, and since, as Parish Nurses, we are caregivers, it fits perfectly with what we do.  These are devotions we can read for ourselves, share with our church staff, caregivers we visit, or use with Caregiver Support groups.  The reference is listed below and the Church Health website is listed on the Resource Page under For Parish Nurses in this website. It is also a good devotion for this season of Pentecost.  I hope you find this as meaningful as I have.  Phyllis Bruce

The Promised Spirit

The Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised to his followers is the great gift of God.  Without the spirit of Jesus we can do nothing, but in and through His Spirit we can live free, joyful and courageous lives.  We cannot pray, but the Spirit of Christ can pray in us.  We cannot create peace and joy, but the spirit of Christ can fill us with a peace and joy which is not of this world.  We cannot break through the many barriers which divide races, sexes, and nations, but the spirit of christ unites all people in the all-embracing love of God.  The Spirit of Christ burns away our many fears and anxieties, and sets us free to move wherever we are sent.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not
know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes
with sighs too deep for words.  And God, who searches the heart,
knows what is the mind of the spirit, because the Spirit
intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27


Life reminds us every day what we cannot do.  In fact, we may feel that the harder we try, the less we succeed with our good intentions.  We want to pray more, love more, serve more, care more, give more.  Yet what we desire remains out of reach.  We live in weakness, but Christ is our strength.  We do not strive on our own.  Rather, we step into what the Spirit of Christ is doing and find our place there.  Then we will be free.

  • Reflect on something you have had to rely on the spirit of Christ for.
  • In what ways do you need to be set free to move where you are sent as a caregiver?O Lord, your spirit is freedom from striving and
    fracturing.  May your Spirit lead the way into freedom
    of peace and joy that is not of this world. 

* From Hope for Caregivers: A 42-day Devotional in Company with Henri J. M Nouwen, 2017.  Church Health, Menphis TN, and Henri Nouwen Society, Toronto, Ontario

To see the three devotions in Graceful Aging series click on the following:
The Gift of Hope                   The Gift of Humor                             The Gift of Vision

Resources for Spiritual Development
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)

Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality.  This document briefly describes what spiritual direction is, identifies common misconceptions about spiritual direction, and gives you ideas on how to find a spiritual director.  Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse.  As you support others wholistically, tending to your own soul is important.  Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself on solid footing spiritually.  You might have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Please Click here for a more indepth discussion of Spiritual Direction by Carol DeSchepper,
including a web site to locate a Spiritual Director in your area.

Melissa's Prayer Journal:  The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!

Web sites for Spiritual Renewal and Growth
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife"".  Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R. E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) Community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years.  She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.  To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to

Joyce Rupp will be leading a retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center,  9/24-28/2017.
For more information see:

God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.