Articles

What is a Spiritual Director, and Why Should You Get One?

Br Rex Anthony Norris
May 23, 2017 51 Comments

“The Holy Spirit gives to certain of the faithful the gifts of wisdom, faith and discernment for the sake of this common good which is prayer (spiritual direction). Men and women so endowed are true servants of the living tradition of prayer. According to St. John of the Cross, the person wishing to advance toward perfection should ‘take care into whose hands he entrusts himself, for as the master is, so will the disciple be, and as the father is so will be the son.’ And further: ‘In addition to being learned and discreet, a director should be experienced. . . . If the spiritual director has no experience of the spiritual life, he will be incapable of leading into it the souls whom God is calling to it, and he will not even understand them.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2690)

As I have studied the lives of the holy men and women who make up the communion of saints — officially canonized or otherwise — I have noticed three things they share in common.  One, they have a deep and abiding relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ.  Two, not only have they each submitted their will and their life to the Lordship of Jesus, they have fully embraced the gift of their baptism as active members of the Catholic Church, His Mystical Body on Earth.  Three, in order to maintain and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church each of them has sought out spiritual direction.

So, what is spiritual direction? What is a spiritual director?

What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is a discipline through which a person explores and deepens his relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the context of confidential ongoing conversation with another disciple of Jesus who, because of his/her personal experience and intellectual knowledge of God and the spiritual life, accompanies others on their way home to God.

Spiritual direction helps us become aware of the ways in which we cooperate with, ignore, or in some cases actively hinder the Holy Spirit’s work within us.

Grounded in the truths of the faith once delivered to the saints (cf. Jude 1:3), loyal to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and drawing upon the spiritual wisdom of those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith, spiritual direction is a ministry in service to the whole Church. Through it we grow in our prayer life, and learn to live more fully into and out of our call to holiness in whatever state of life God calls us.

What is a Spiritual Director?

A spiritual director is a person whom we have chosen after prayerful consideration to accompany us, to hold us accountable, to encourage us, to challenge us and, when necessary, engage us in fraternal correction along our way of discipleship.

Our spiritual director helps us to notice God’s presence and activity in our life. He or she can encourage us to explore our personal reactions and responses to the Holy Trinity’s presence and activity within and around us.

A spiritual director will usually have some training in the ministry of direction. Sometimes, however, a director is simply a woman or man who has a reputation in the community of faith for being able to offer spiritual insight and counsel when asked to do so.

What to Expect in Spiritual Direction?

A spiritual direction meeting is a one-on-one meeting (though sometimes direction takes place in a group setting) during which the director and the directee discuss the spiritual life of the directee. Where have you noticed God in your life since last we met? When have you experienced God as absent from your life since we last met? In what ways has God comforted you in your afflictions or afflicted you in your comfort since we last met? These are typical questions that might be asked and discussed in a spiritual direction session.

The frequency of spiritual direction is usually once a month for an hour. Sometimes it is necessary for various reasons to “meet” over the phone. Even video conferencing is becoming more common in this technological age.

The fee for spiritual direction depends upon the director. Some spiritual directors ask a set fee for their services. Some spiritual directors accept a “free will offering” of any amount; some spiritual directors do not expect and will not accept compensation. It is appropriate to discuss this matter with any prospective spiritual director to be sure that you are in agreement regarding a fee.

I would simply remind my reader at this point that if your spiritual director is a person in consecrated life, he or she has taken a vow of evangelical poverty. Monetary gifts or gifts in kind are usually very helpful.

Lest someone be concerned about confidentiality, be assured that meetings with a spiritual director are normally held in the strictest of confidence. (This rule would likely be abrogated should a directee suggest some form of harm to self or others during a session.)

In closing, I would like to encourage my reader to consider finding a spiritual director. Avail yourself of this time-tested discipline for growth in Christ. I will also reiterate what I stated at the beginning of this brief article: all the saints of whom I am aware had at least three things in common. They were all deeply committed to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior; they were faithful to His Body the Church, and each had a spiritual director.

As Patrick Coffin used to say at the close of nearly every edition of the Catholic Answers Live radio program: “Be a Saint. What else is there?”

  • Lisa Nelson

    Br. Rex,
    A timely piece, thank you. So many of my Catholic friends here in Maine have sought spiritual direction over the years with various priests to no avail. Finally, a visiting priest from Nigeria has agreed to offer direction.
    What do you make of St. Francis de Sale’s (arguably the Church’s greatest spiritual director) caution that “…only one in a thousand priests are equipped to offer sound spiritual direction.”? And that in his day! Even if one were to find a spiritual director would he be that “one in one thousand”?
    Lisa Nelson
    Maine

    • Bob Wilkens

      That is indeed often the problem, the blind leading the blind. But, in the end, the Spirit is the director, not a human. And we Americans often look for someone to “fix us” in any case. Be quite careful on who you go to in order to entrust your soul, and EVEN SANITY.

      I would recommend as for lighter reading on the spiritual life, “The Cloud of Unknowing”, to preserve one’s self from following error,… the Penguin edition has additional writings by this 1200s author, and St John of the Cross shows familiarity with these writings, also the Divine Office quotes it as for bona fides.

      For a more detailed exposition, Fr Augustine Baker, who died on Elizabethan missions to England in the early 1600s, and was Director of souls to a convent had his conferences assembled posthumous under the title “Sancta Sophia/Holy Wisdom”, available in facsimile reprint, very detailed, and you do not “get it” until the end, due to syntax of the times. But…a gold mine.

      A very inspiring short read on what the spiritual life is about by another Director , Fr Gabriel Diefenbach, who wrote “Common Mystic Prayer” in 1947 with originals cheaper than reprints, and a wonderful view showing this life being what all holy scripture points towards, and every human failing from not following this path. His bibliography of now forgotten spiritual works worth the modest price, alone.

      On any of the older works, ignore completely the forwards written by any modern writer, who are academics trying to show how clever they are.

      • Marie

        Great advice, on ignoring the forwards 😉 But shouldn’t we also be cautious about any author “on the fringes” of traditional acceptance – such as Cloud of Unknowing which isn’t on the typical list of go-to books the way Interior Castle is, for example. As you yourself say, we must be very careful who we entrust our souls to! (though not sure why you place concern about sanity above concern about soul? (“and even”)).

        • Bob Wilkens

          The traditional acceptance part is beyond me. It is quoted in the official prayer of the Church, The Divine Office. And its author took great pains to explain its orthodoxy. And St John of the Cross’ writings show remarkable near verbatim parallels thoughout.

          The Spanish authors wrote in a florid classic Spanish which one must speak in order to fully appreciate or even accurately translate,…. while “The Cloud of Unknowing” can be read in original language with footnotes by most any literate English speaker today, and also written in a very easy to understand personal address manner. And it deals extensively with deceptive self-made experiences, or worse, influences from outside.

          If one is suspicious of any passive contemplative advice, one is left with nothing but active, which most definitely is crowding the Trinity out of the picture.

          Sanity is added as most folk do not understand risks if going astray. If you are looking for debate on sources and grammar, you have the floor…..to yourself.

          • Marie

            Good grief. The reason I asked the question about Cloud of Unknowing is because I don’t know much about it. At least you did inform me further even though you did so on the
            assumption that my question was disingenuous. I do have more questions. As I said, I am no scholar. I simply have enough knowledge of what books are more frequently mentioned with respect in orthodox Catholic sources to have a desire to be cautious about those that I’ve never heard of. Sure it’s a good sign that its quoted in Divine Office but one still might desire to know other things about it like…who wrote it? What do you mean by “its author”. Who is its author? And what do you mean by St John of the Cross showing near verbatim parallels. That sounds like plagiarism and would certainly cause me to lose respect for St John’s writing.

            • Bob Wilkens

              They did not follow modern copyright rules or patterns back then, and developed one another’s thoughts freely, when imitation WAS the sincerest form of flattery, rather than a platitude, and profit on writings unheard of.

              Quite frankly, any author striving to be truly original in theology invariably strays into heresy. And why those in the Church who grant approval are slow to approve and quick to condemn, or, have been when they truly tried to guard the Faith.

              Sainthood is no guarantee one is a good writer or teacher, but only a guarantee of authentic witness and whose life and works do not contradict established teachings.

              The anonymous author of The Cloud and other works worked very hard to stay so, out of humility, and succeeded to this day in that objective.

              And the ONLY reason this has been added has been to establish bona fides of both The Cloud, and San Juan de la Cruz, for any actual reader of what is getting quite ruined by argument.

    • Diana Cormier-Andrews

      Lisa, many parish priests don’t have the time to give spiritual direction. I don’t know where you are in Maine, but there are nuns at Marie-Joseph Retreat Center in Biddeford who give spiritual direction.

    • LizEst

      Check out this book on how to do just that: “Navigating the Interior Life” by Daniel Burke. Great handbook! Plus, there is a Catholic Spiritual Direction site specifically dedicated to information on questions regarding spiritual direction, prayer, the spiritual life, etc here at www dot spiritual direction dot com.

      • hows_the_boy

        I have found the late Father Thomas Dubay’s works much better. However Dan Burke’s website is an excellent online resource.

        • Marie

          Agreed that Fr Dubay’s work is better than Burke’s on so many levels. But why bother with either him or Burke? Read actual canonized saints whose work has stood the test of time: St Francis de Sales (especially if you are a layperson living in the world), St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St Therese of Lisieux. If you must read a writer not canonized, then read one that has at least stood the test of time and influenced many who ended up canonized: Kempis’ Imitation of Christ (made a saint out of St Therese of Lisieux).

          • Bob Wilkens

            Very little of what you list would be considered intro material into basics of the spiritual life, and are quite difficult reading even for those of us fluent in modern Spanish, much less via translation. Such a list quite likely to run off those trying to peek in the door.

            Please give these people a break, you have questioned/attacked most everyone here including the original blog post, and i do not see much of love or concern in any of it.

            • Marie

              I’ve attacked no one, and am puzzled how you would think that giving an opinion on best resource is unloving? I mean if I actually thought it was the worst resource and posted it out of a desire to lead people down a wrong path, that would be one thing (although how would you know I’d done that with no way to read my mind?). But I do truly think canonized saints are best to read. I’m no scholar and haven’t had any trouble with the English of the translations I encountered, maybe you came across some very poor translations? If a person is a beginner in spiritual reading, they of course shouldn’t start with Teresa of Avila, but with something basic like Baltimore Catechism and then move up to CCC and then branch out from there. But by the time a person is at the point of seeking spiritual direction surely they aren’t a complete beginner.

              And regarding the comment to Br Rex, why wouldn’t it be loving both to him and commenters to point out a major lacuna that is 100% backed up by the sources I referred to. It would be a lack of love not to.

            • Marie

              Also, I don’t know what you mean about Spanish. Only two of the five I mentioned by name (and obviously there are others, those are only listed by way of examples) wrote in Spanish. St Francis de Sales wrote in French, as did St Therese of Lisieux. Thomas a Kempis wrote in Latin. But all five are available in excellent English. Not sure why you say “much less” as though translations are a bad thing.

              As to accessibility to beginners, St Francis de Sales wrote Introduction to the Devout Life specifically for beginners, and St Therese was barely a teenager when she read (and eventually memorized large portions of) the Imitation of Christ. It is part of what transformed her from a spoiled and difficult child into a great saint.

          • hows_the_boy

            Actually I posted on the Saints’s writings above as well. Fr Dubay’s “Fire Within” is an excellent synopsis on the writings of St Teresa and St John of the Cross on prayer.
            I second your recommendation on St. Francis de Sales, especially “Intro to the Devout Life” for anyone with a very busy schedule. God be with you.

        • LizEst

          My apologies for posting about the book and website so much. Some do not like that I did that. I hope you will forgive me if it was annoying to you.

          • Bob Wilkens

            Do not fret yourself, little one. Some folk only post of same “Great Spiritual Classics” list again and again while obviously practicing none if it themselves. God bless you for trying to help.

            • LizEst

              You are most kind, Bob. God bless you, too.

              • Bob Wilkens

                I just thought it actually funny with you being rudely lectured about “netiquette” by someone lacking the base-word. Hilarious, the more I think about it, as if, “Hey! watch that !!%! profanity!”
                Thank you again for trying to help, rather than harm, and this thanks also to the other helpful posters as well.

                • Marie

                  Wow, again. Really. Wow. You just accused me of “trying to harm.”

                  I would REALLY like to know how you imagine you know my motivations. Which I assure you were entirely benevolent.

                  Please point out what exactly was rude about that post. If someone is clueless about how they are coming across it isn’t rude to explain to them, in fact it can spare them much future headache or even heartache! I very much wish people had explained certain things to me that I ended up doing for years until someone finally did…

                  Now of course, after that post to which you refer, I realized that the person wasn’t clueless but was in fact a spammer.

                  But how is it wrong that I at first charitably tried to explain what was coming across so badly, and did so *without* assuming I knew for certain why they said what they did, just that I knew how it was coming across.

                  You on the other hand are assuming a great deal about me that you couldn’t possibly know, assuming that what I’ve said has been out of “lack of love and concern” or out of “lack of practicing [things written by saints].” You also assume I am “trying to…harm” Those assumptions aren’t true in the least.

                  Not that I’m saying I’m perfect, just that relative to those comments you’ve criticized I *was* truly trying to help and trying to benefit others. I’m sorry you don’t believe that, but I can’t help you there beyond just telling you the truth.

            • Marie

              Wow, Bob.

              So deceptively spamming is “trying to help” but pointing out the injustice of that isn’t?

          • hows_the_boy

            It doesn’t annoy me at all, nor I am sure anyone else. Burke’s website is indeed very good. God be with you LizEst.

            • LizEst

              You are also most kind hows_the boy… and God be with you as well.

  • RJO

    With so few priests, confession held 30 minutes/week, HOW does one find a priest with the time or grace to do this??????

    • LizEst

      Check out this book on how to do just that: “Navigating the Interior Life” by Daniel Burke. Great handbook!

      • RJO

        Thank you!

        • LizEst

          You’re welcome. Sorry, I’m removing the comment I had here before. Seems I have annoyed someone b/c I posted some resources. My apologies.

  • Marie

    Br Rex, you listed “to accompany us, to hold us accountable, to encourage us, to challenge us and, when necessary, engage us in fraternal correction” as a spiritual director’s role. But that leaves out what was traditionally the most important part of the director’s role: *directing*.

    Obedience was the most important part of the relationship, it was a way to practice laying down one’s own will in order to conform with God’s. All of those other things you mention can and should be done by any pious friend. But a spiritual direction relationship – at least according to the likes of St Francis de Sales and other traditional saints – is different because one intentionally submits oneself to his direction in a way one wouldn’t with just a pious friend (akin to assuming religious obedience in entering religious life).

    It’s this act of submission of our own will to God’s (through the spiritual director) that makes the relationship beneficial to our soul. Laying down our will is the way to sanctity.

    And to answer the question of a commenter below, that level of submission and obedience that St Francis de Sales had in mind is why he said to be so very careful whom you select as your director. If all you want is some extra-wise friend to give you some advice, but you don’t intend to submit yourself in advance to following the advice in a spirit of obedience, then, while obviously you don’t want just anyone, nonetheless you don’t have to be *quite* so choosy as you would be if you intended to submit yourself to this person in a spirit of obedience.

  • Teresa Grodi

    Hey, Bro Rex!

    This post has providential timing. Do you have any tips in locating or finding the right person for spiritual direction?

    • Bob Wilkens

      I would council to first read good solid known classics on the interior life, and then avoid as the plague any “director” or “retreat center” whose methods or comments do not agree.

      There are many such out there, unfortunately, flying under major religious orders, and quite proudly, teaching such condemned heresies as rebranded “Quietism” in retreats. That heresy is essentially that all you must do is still all thought through various techniques, and makes God into something able to be conjured by following a totally human formula.

      If it does not focus on love of God who loves us first into existence, if it does not leave one abandoned to God’s will with him free to come, or not come, at his pleasure and not ours, if it is not a way of a cross, then you can rest assured it is a false way.

    • LizEst

      Dan Burke has an excellent book titled “Navigating the Interior Life” which is like a handbook for finding the right person for spiritual direction. Also, check out his site dedicated to spiritual direction: www dot spiritualdirection dot com.

      ps are you related to Marcus?

      • Marie

        Why do you keep posting the same comments advertising that book and website? It begins to sound a bit spammy. I do apologize if that’s not how you mean it, but consider the optics of the fact that your comments are all alike, plus the book and website do funnel to a living person who does have books to sell and retreats to book, unlike most of the rest of the comments here that are directing people to read books by dead saints who of course have nothing whatsoever to gain. If you aren’t a spammer and just truly innocently got a lot out of the book and website and want to share, maybe rethink your presentation of that enthusiasm in light of the above, so that you come across less spammy.

        • LizEst

          Hey Marie, Thank you for your note and gift. I am not a spammer. Just sharing enthusiastically.

          • Marie

            I’m glad to hear that, but I hope you do see why it would come across as spammy? Repeating the same exact comment over and over is somewhat a violation of “netiquette” (people know how to scroll down in a combox so it isn’t like yours will be “missed” if just satisfy yourself with posting it one time) and it’s worse if that comment is pointing to a product or website, and worse still if that comment doesn’t say anything personal or substantive just simply “go buy product” or “go visit website.”

            • LizEst

              Sorry I offended you. My apologies.

            • Bob Wilkens

              see above comments about lack of love or concern.

              • Marie

                I saw them when you posted them, but I fail to see the lack of love. I gave the benefit of the doubt and assumed the possibility of innocence, just kindly pointing out that the optics were bad. Until to my surprise I found that my first fear had been correct and there was a clear injustice being perpetrated! Spamming a combox with ads for a book and its website without even disclosing that one is affiliated as a mod with the ministry that publishes them is deceptive and wrong.

                • Dan Burke

                  Marie – I am the author of the book Liz is promoting. To be clear, I have no income from the site or the Avila Foundation. I don’t make/keep money from speaking etc. Liz is one of the most pure hearted women I know. She is doing nothing more than offering a resource that she believes in. in fact, she translated it to Spanish on her own initiative at no cost to the publisher or anyone. Regarding what one should follow/read, what I share in the book really is no reflection on my own manufactured wisdom. All of the content is rooted in the doctors or the teachings of the Church. I have no interest in promoting anything regarding me, only the life-changing wisdom of the Church. Hope this helps.

                • LizEst

                  You are too kind, Dan. God bless you.

          • Marie

            Um…I just went to your profile and figured out that in fact you are a mod at the
            website you’ve been advertising for. So, yes, you are spamming. You aren’t just
            some private individual who happens to be enthusiastic: you have a
            formal affiliation with the site you’re advertising for. That
            places your comments squarely in the category of spam, especially since
            you didn’t disclose your affiliation – even when I directly asked about the nature of your advertising! Color me even less impressed Burke and his “ministry” than I was before. I’ll definitely be sticking with canonized saints or the ancient and traditional sources that formed said saints thank you very much. Not “ministries” that use low tactics like these to shill their products.

            • LizEst

              Marie — I’m enthusiastic about that book. I wish I had had it years ago. It would have helped me a great deal. Dan doesn’t pay me to say that, nor has he, or anyone else, ever asked me to say that. The website helps a lot of folks. And, those who have never heard of it should know about it. Praying for you. Hope you find peace.

  • In here

    Neat! Unfortunately all parish priests are too busy crisis-managing the nominal Catholics in their flock. They don’t have time to give spiritual direction to some guy or gal who is just trying to be a saint! Poor father has to deal with the “responsibly contracepting” couple who doesn’t understand why their marriage is on the rocks; or he has to deal with the family who are well focused on career path and getting into the best college and sports! But barely squirm through a 45 minute Mass (when SPORTS! doesn’t interfere with the Mass schedule!) and otherwise are basically unchurched pagans!

    What are priests doing all day? Modern comfortable lives? Plush carpets? Comfy clothing? Well-fed? TV shows? Kick back and relax too much? yeeeeeeccccccchhhhhhhhhh

    yeah, spiritual directors would be great. Don’t pretend like they’re easy to find.

    • Bob Wilkens

      Priests stay quite busy, administering sacraments, but mainly herding cats in business admin/administering business. Our USA churches have gone from a priest or bishop who funded things out of their wallet to being run on modern business models, ever since the USCCB went that route.

      Any spiritual “retreat” at any event likely run on same models, with outside speaker, handouts, breakout sessions, team discussion, etc etc. You cannot teach what you do not know.

  • hows_the_boy

    One of the parishes in the city where I live offers spiritual direction.
    Pity the crew who run same parish are a bunch of liberals who are openly in favour of sodomite “marriage”, wymenpriests, the whole works.
    Imaging getting spiritual direction form one of that crew. You would be directed right to hell.

    Much more profitable would be to read the following works:
    – anything by the late Fr Thomas Dubay, especially “Seeking Spiritual Direction” and “Fire Within”
    – The Ways of Mental Prayer by Vital Lehodey
    – The Story of a Soul by St Therese the Little Flower
    – The autobiography of St Teresa of Avila, also her “Interior Castle”
    – Adolphe Tanqueray’S “The Spiritual Life”

    All of these books have aided me greatly in this spritual wilderness.

  • RightWingGal

    The question is, where do you find a spiritual director? Someone that’s holy and interested enough to guide you?

  • From. Dan Hesko

    As a parish priest, it is very difficult to ‘take people on ‘ for spiritual direction, just because of the time commitment. I meet with folks who have an issue or question when needed, but a parish priest just can’t meet regularly with individuals. Religious priests, especially at retreat houses or monasteries were traditionally the spiritual directors.
    People today Do want to take their faith seriously, but we need to develop a new way of doing spiritual direction

    • smk629

      Father, I understand it must be very difficult for a parish priest to take on anyone for spiritual direction.

      That said, several months ago I was advised by the minister of my secular Franciscan fraternity to find a spiritual director because he feels I am under attack.

      I asked my pastor for help. He would not take me on, although I am aware that he had taken on another parishioner as a spiritual director. He told me to seek help at a retreat center 40 miles away, or another about 20 miles away. His only other advice was to pray to St. Michael.

      I checked with both retreat houses. Neither returned or acknowledged my calls or emails.

      I live in a mid-sized city in a populous, very Catholic area of the Midwest with several parishes in town. Priests at other parishes were similarly unforthcoming with help.

      After months of running into brick walls and being ignored, I have given up looking for help from priests or other religious and will deal with this on my own. My only resource is to rely on the help of Our Lady.

      It is very discouraging and unhelpful to have Catholic sources, such as the writer of this article and other Catholic writers, who certainly have good intentions, to advise us to grow closer to God by placing ourselves under spiritual direction, when there is nowhere to turn even in strongly Catholic areas in larger cities.

      I do not want to be negative. But the reality is there is very little willing help out there. Truth be told, there is no help at all for most of us. It is frustrating and misleading to tell those of us who need help to find a spiritual director when there are no willing resources or help for any of us. These people simply do not exist for most of us.

      • Bob Wilkens

        Resources are there, mine own little shopping list above had a “why/what” short read, a easy to read “how to” including dealing with spiritual attack, and also a VERY detailed treatise/how-to.

        That same last author of Sancta Sophia of the opinion a director only needed perhaps in the beginning to correct any false views of what the life is….

        A director is not a guru/student relationship where they dispense formula salvation, so it CAN be done alone if using good sources, the danger being a lot of fluff out there. The other sources listed here, also, are quite good. Make sure any teaching stays within orthodoxy, and avoid as the plague any method which promises that you by your own effort may attain peace and happiness.

        If you are growing in holiness, you are CERTAINLY under attack, and my prayers are with you. Cast yourself totally at the control of the Divine Lover of our souls, beg his help, love him and trust him with all your heart in a gentle unforced manner, admit he is in total control, even to allowing attacks for your own purification, if it be his will……but, most of all, spend as much time as possible simply loving him who loves us and all creation into existence at every moment.

        • smk629

          Thank you for your kind words and helpful advice, Mr. Wilkens. I am beginning to think I am in fact under attack.

          Various negative things have been happening to me, and they are coming closer together. I fainted after praying a rosary at an abortion clinic and broke a bone in my foot. I also had a severe, painful ear infection in the weeks leading up to my profession in my Order, leaving me with permanent hearing loss. Something dreadful seems to happen every time I try to do something for God. I am trying not to focus too much on myself, and more on our good Jesus, but it is becoming very difficult.

          I will do as you suggest. But I will no longer look for a spiritual director. These people seem to be a myth, no more real than Mary Poppins or Peter Pan.

          I appreciate your help. God bless you and all here.

          • Bob Wilkens

            It is hard to find a true holy person, period. But when you find that holy person, ask their help. Meanwhile, study and pray as if your immortal soul depend upon it, because it does.

            Do not be dismayed at this world, it is only a school in which we are meant to learn to truly and selflessly love Him as he loves us, and through that love, to love others, and we need his help at every step of the way to graduation…. And we all graduate, period.

            As one holy man said, thank God in advance, no matter what befalls, and I would add, do it with love….and Job knew this, as well, even if he forgot it for a while, from poor direction…

            Then rose up Job, and rent his garments about him; and he shaved his head bare, and fell down to earth to do reverence.21 Naked I came, said he, when I left my mother’s womb, and whence I came, naked I must go. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken away; nothing is here befallen but what was the Lord’s will; blessed be the name of the Lord.[2] 22 In all this, Job guarded his lips well, nor challenged with human folly God’s wisdom.[3]

  • Bernadette

    One way to find a spiritual director is to ask your pastor for a list of priests or religious sisters in the diocese who are able to offer it. If he doesn’t know, as the bishop’s office. As Dan Burke’s book emphasizes, it is important to only go to a director who is in direction themselves. I had a priest as a director for a while, but he was not in direction himself, and I believe that was one of the reasons his direction was lacking.

  • There is always the danger that spiritual directors becomes substitutes for Christ. If they don’t point you to Christ, they are a waste of time.

    It is always good to keep in mind what John says in 1John 2:27: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him”.

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