Spiritual Direction

by Thomas A. Stobie, S.F.O.


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Essentials about Spiritual Direction

What is Spiritual Direction? - Spiritual direction is the interaction of a person and a spiritual director to help the person notice and respond to the movement of God as experienced in prayer and in the events of ordinary life.

What does a Spiritual Director do? - The director acts as a listening, supportive person who creates an atmosphere where one can look honestly at his or her relationship with God as it is lived out in everyday life.

How often do people Interact with their Spiritual Director? - Frequency of interaction (visits) varies with the person and with the happenings of one’s life at a particular time. Some people come once a week, others every two weeks, some every month or even less often. When interacting via email, this can take the form of multiple messages each week or day, supplemented by private on-line chats or in person encounters.

What should I look for in a Spiritual Director? - You want to find someone who (1) has a good faith life, (2) is loyal to the teachings of the church, (3) is someone with whom you would be comfortable sharing your spiritual experiences, and (4) is someone who will be totally honest with you.

What is a Spiritual Companion? - A Spiritual Companion is a person with whom a person mutually shares their experiences of their spiritual journeys and helps to keep the other on track. It helps if both people are under the direction of the same Spiritual Director.

Is being a Spiritual Director the same as being a Confessor? - No, these are very different roles. A confessor is a priest who hears your confession and may provide guidance of specific areas of sin.

Can my Spiritual Director be my Confessor? - Yes, the same person can fulfill the two roles if he is an ordained priest.

Links about Spiritual Direction

  1. Advice on Spiritual Direction by Fr. Pinto, SOLT
  2. Catholic Encyclopedia on Spiritual Direction
  3. Oblate Renewal Center on Spiritual Direction (OMI)
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Prayer of Asking God to Lead you to a Good Spiritual Director

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O Most Loving God,

Thanks you for all the gifts you have bestowed upon me. I love You and want to grow closer to You.

Lead me to the Spiritual Director that You want for me, so that he can help me grow closer and deep in love with You.

Bless my Spiritual Director with the gifts to understand me and my journey, to direct me that I can understand myself better, and to represent You when he advises me.

Amen.

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by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO © 2004. Permission granted to copy for personal use.


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Last Modified 6 Nov 2008.