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What is spiritual direction?

Simply put, spiritual direction is an exploration of one’s relationship with God. It is taking the time to wonder about God, how you feel about God, and what God feels in return. It can also be a time to discern God’s will. This exploration begins by clearly defining your relationship with God before going deeper. The depth of the relationship is entirely in your hands. It is often helpful to have a Spiritual Director act as a companion on your journey to greater closeness with God.

Who is a Spiritual Director?

A Spiritual Director’s  sole purpose is to listen and be a witness to your experience of God. They have  much experience with their  own journey and can offer you guidance or suggestions as you embark on your own.Their primary role, however, is as a witness. Often, directors prefer words such as, “companions in grace,” “holy listening,” and even “co-pilot on a journey,” to describe their role. 

Spiritual Directors undergo training, certification, and supervision, as well as a continued deepening of their own relationship with God through spiritual direction. 

Who seeks spiritual direction?

You might be drawn to spiritual direction because of a stirring question: “Where is God in my life?” What is God inviting me to do?” “How do I know what God wants me to do?” Often, these questions appear at times of transition in life or after a particularly difficult or joyful experience. But you could also be motivated by simple curiosity about prayer, or perhaps by an experience of prayer or God in your life that you wish to talk with someone about. 

What happens in a spiritual direction session?

A spiritual direction session is simply a conversation about how God is moving in your life.The pace and amount of sharing you feel comfortable with is completely up to you.The director acts primarily as a listener, a support who can help you look honestly at your relationship with God in your ordinary life. The director listens in a non-judgmental, open way, knowing that the real Spiritual Director is God. Since sharing your experiences with God can be deeply personal, a spiritual director must be able to offer absolute confidentiality. It is therefore important that a spirit of trust is built between you and your director, to facilitate open sharing. This relationship can take time to establish, but is very important to the process. 

Is spiritual direction a form of therapy?

Spiritual direction is not therapy. In therapy, a person presents a problem that two people, therapist and client, work through.Using therapeutic tools, they work together toward a resolution that benefits the client. This usually necessitates one or more visits a week for a period of time. 

Spiritual direction is also a cooperation among two, but the two are the directee and God. The spiritual director has experience and training in the spiritual journey and can therefore be a helpful guide and companion along the way. But God is the real director of your spirit. While there is a relationship among director and directee, the roles are different than that of therapist and client.  Ordinarily, one sees a spiritual director about once a month, but these specifics are usually customized to your specific needs, wishes, and goals for spiritual direction.

How do I find a Spiritual Director?

  1. Reach out to your local Church, House of Worship or Retreat Center

  2. Ask someone you know who is in Spiritual Direction

  3. Spiritual Directors International helps connect people with directors of all faiths. Their website has a wealth of information on spiritual direction.

  4. The Office Of Ignatian Spirituality connects people as well and cover most of the East Coast of the United States. 

Is there a fee?

When possible, the person seeking spiritual direction offers a stipend to the director for the sessions. However, most spiritual directors agree that it is more important that you come for direction, regardless of your ability to make an offering.  

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