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March 25, 2021 19 min
Franciscan Spirituality Center
920 Market Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
608-791-5295

Steve Spilde: Today it is my great pleasure to welcome Lucy Abbott Tucker. Lucy has been a great contributor to the contemporary practice of Spiritual Direction. She was instrumental in the formation of the organization “Spiritual Directors International.” She has had decades of experience as a Spiritual Director. She has been a teacher of other Spiritual Directors. She now serves as a teacher of other teachers. We look forward to welcoming her this spring to the Franciscan Spirituality Center, where she will lead a workshop for our supervisors in the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program. Welcome, Lucy Abbott Tucker.

Lucy Abbott Tucker: Thank you very much, Steve.

Steve: Lucy, as we begin, a good place to start, I think, is, what is Spiritual Direction, in your understanding?

Lucy: For many years I described Spiritual Direction as a conversation between two people who believe in the reality of God, however that is named, where one person is primarily the speaker and the other is primarily the listener. We are trying to touch more clearly the presence and the activity of the sacred in the speaker. I like that definition, and I still use most of it. Several years ago, I listened to a TED Talk by a man named Simon Sinek. He talked about what makes organizations and people great – what helps them to stand out among others. He used three concentric circles, and the innermost circle was ‘why’; the second circle was ‘how’; and the largest circle was ‘what.’ He uses a lot of examples, and I would encourage you to listen to his podcasts. One example he used that always stuck with me was Martin Luther King. He said in the 1960s there were many great people speaking about civil rights. Why did Martin Luther King speak on the steps of the Washington Monument and have thousands of people listening to him? We all know the answer: He had a dream, [which is] his famous speech. But his dream was there are laws of God, and laws of men. Until those come together, we will never have justice and peace. Simon Sinek described that as the ‘why’ of his energy that made him stand out from others.

When I looked at my definition, I realized it didn’t have a ‘why’ in it. Why do I do this work? So now, I use the same words as I started out with, but I begin with, “Because I believe God is present and active in every moment of life, Spiritual Direction is a conversation.” That’s what Spiritual Direction is about for me: Touching that God presence that is always with us.

Steve: Thank you, thank you. … How do you spell Simon Sinek? How is his last name spelled?

Lucy: S … I … N … E … K. It’s a TED Talk. I can get you the exact title, Steve.

Steve: I think if people Google “Simon Sinek” and “TED Talk,” it will come up. Thank you for sharing that resource. It sounds like something I want to watch. … You do a lot of work for the organization called “Spiritual Directors International.” Could you tell us what is SDI? How did it form? How were you involved in that beginning?
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