People hunger for the sacred. They're thirsty for the experience of the presence of God. Their longings can't be chalked up to post-modernity or new age ideology. Rather, we can trace these desires for intimacy with God back through Church history, back to the Incarnation of Christ, and all the way back to Adam and Eve walking with God in the cool of the day. God designed us for God. Benner understands the soul's longings and he grasps how to help others to quench their thirst. For many reasons Sacred Companions interests me. Not the least of which is Crabbs recommendation. "I assigned Sacred Companions as the lead book in the first class I ever taught on spiritual direction. I think it's that good." Benner begins by guiding his readers on a journey through the basics of spiritual friendship and direction--what is it, what do we mean by the terms, what does it look like in real life? In Part II, especially helpful for Protestants unused to these concepts, he demystifies spiritual direction. Along the way, Benner provides insight from ancient spiritual guides, examples from his own ministry, and illustrations from diverse modern sources. In Part III, he elaborates on how to combine spiritual direction and spiritual friendship, and how to provide them in small groups and in marriage. Allotting a chapter to each allowed for a solid introduction, but leaves the reader hungry for more insight and instruction. The thorough index of resources helps to sate part of these hunger pangs. Each chapter ends with reflection questions and suggestions for application. These are excellent and perhaps would have been even more useful had they been prepared with enough space to be used as a built-in study guide/group discussion guide. Without question, Sacred Companions is a worthy addition to the growing list of resources available to equip Christians in soul care.Reviewer: Dr. Kellemen is the author of "Soul Physicians" and "Spiritual Friends."