The following are some of the qualities a true spiritual parent should have:
- Must be loving;
- Must also be like a brother/sister, not just a parent;
- Must treat and heal the spiritual child’s wounds.
Specifically, in relation to #1, the spiritual parent “must acquire a sympathetic heart, and grieve and weep with the [spiritual child], feel the other person’s pain and actually make it his own” (Met. Hierotheos. 2010. The science of spiritual medicine, p. 336). In relation to #2, the spiritual parent should “use all possible means for the sole purpose of setting his spiritual child at ease, calming and soothing him. Anything that truly sets a person at ease is from God, as God’s grace brings about this peaceful calm, which distinguishes grace from delusion . . . [the spiritual parent] ought to have consoling love which leads people to God . . . such love that they accompany [the spiritual child] on his way and regard his as their brother even when he falls” (pp. 336-337). In relation to #3, the spiritual parent must “treat and heal wounds . . . Healing cannot take place against [the spiritual child’s] free will, because anything that is done without freedom is not lasting and does not continue into eternity” (pp. 337-338).