Are you looking for a stronger, deeper faith, but you are not sure how to get there? Do you sometimes feel alone on your spiritual journey? Spiritual direction may be the answer. You don’t have to take that journey alone!
If you are new to the concept of spiritual direction, you probably have a lot of questions. This short guide to spiritual direction should answer most of those questions.
How spiritual direction Works
Generally, you meet about once per month (but that may vary) for about an hour. During that time, you will discuss your prayer life, the ups and downs of your faith, and where you feel God moving in your life. A spiritual director is trained to help you process all of that. We all face challenges and obstacles on our faith journeys, and your spiritual director will help you overcome those.
The goal of spiritual direction varies from person to person – and even session to session. It should be tailored to where you are on your faith journey. Is there a particular struggle you’re having? Let’s focus on that. Are you looking to more closely connect with God? Let’s start there. Are you trying to discern God’s will for your life? We can work on that together.
You don’t have to walk this path alone.
What is a Spiritual Director?
First and foremost, a spiritual director is a good listener and facilitator. The session begins with you. It’s up to you to choose what to share about your personal spiritual journey, and it is the job of the spiritual director to guide you from there.
Some spiritual directors focus on working within a particular faith, while others have interfaith practices. Personally, I choose to focus on Christian spiritual direction and would recommend people of other faiths (Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and others) to seek out a spiritual director from their own tradition.
Looking for a non-Christian spiritual director? Check out Spiritual Directors International’s Seek and Find Guide.
The current trend in spiritual direction is more hands-off as most directors focus on “reflective listening.” In other words, they simply move the conversation forward by asking the right questions. My approach is a bit more direct. There are times for reflective listening, but there are times that you may want a more direct approach (you can’t be a “director” if you’re not direct).
Each spiritual director takes a slightly different approach, and it’s important to find the right spiritual director for you.
Why Go to Spiritual Direction?
How can spiritual direction benefit you? That depends on your goals. And like anything, you get out of it what you put into it.
Occasionally, you might hear your priest or pastor talk about the benefits of spiritual direction. Many of them have personal experience with it because spiritual direction has long been a regular practice for clergy in some form or another. It has been well-known that a good spiritual director can help you develop a stronger faith, deeper spirituality, and closer relationship with God.
But is spiritual direction a good fit for laypeople, as well?
When you have health issues, you see a doctor. When you have mental health issues, you see a therapist. Even without any problems, you may find ways to improve your physical and mental health, such as eating well, developing a fitness routine, improving your relationships, and reading self-help books.
Your spiritual health deserves the same attention!
Just as a trainer can help you reach your physical fitness goals, a spiritual director’s job is to help you reach your spiritual fitness goals. We will work on improving your prayer life, deepening your scripture studies, developing a closer relationship with God, and learning to discern God’s will for your life.
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