The World of Spiritual Direction
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is a specialized ministry in the Church. It is a graced way of serving another believer, helping the other to grow in intimacy with God and to live out the consequences of this intimacy. the focus of spiritual direction is the directee's (man/woman of prayer) experience of God and how communication happens between God and the directee. Trained spiritual directors have a background in ministry, communication skills, personality dynamics, and various resources in prayer, spirituality and scripture. While some directors may be trained pastoral or psychological counselors, problem solving or therapy is not the focus. rather, both director and directee agree to meet regularly so the directee might pay closer attention to the action of God.
Why would you need a Spiritual Director?
The need for a spiritual Director comes when you want to develop a deeper relationship with God, when your search for God seems to be at a crossroad, when you want to explore new methods of prayer or prayer becomes difficult, when you feel the need for someone to assist you in discerning the call of the Spirit, or when you feel the need for someone to assist you in discerning the call of the Spirit, or when you feel the need for a companion on the spiritual journey to walk with you and listen. We are not made to walk the spiritual journey alone!
What happens in Spiritual Direction?
the person coming for spiritual direction should try to describe for the director what's going on in the everyday events of life. For example:
- when you pray and how often
- how you pray and what you use to assist you in prayer
- you may share your anxieties, fear, struggles, day to day worries
- how you get along with others; patience, tolerance, cooperation
In spiritual direction, the directee is far more active than the director.
What can I expect in Spiritual Direction?
The director assists you in becoming more aware of who God is for you, in helping you notice God's movement in the events of your life, and in your prayer as they listen to your story. You can expect the director to listen attentively to God's invitation, urgings and confirmations, and to help you recognize resistance and roadblocks by feeding back to you what they heard you saying. The spiritual director is not judgmental but assists the directee to objectify his or her experience. The director can assist the directee by gaining insight into oneself by trying to name the experience and to hold the conversation in reverence by savoring the experience with God. The director will keep the focus on the directee's relationship with God. Contemporary direction presumes that God communicates through ordinary human experience and in that experience is found God's invitations and urgings. The director is a companion on life's journey, asking reflective questions and pointing out resources that may help along the way.
In summary, Spiritual Direction is about a desire to learn and a call to deeper understanding of three primary relationships, our relationship with ourselves, others and God. Incorporated with in these relationships is the mystery of how they relate one to the other.