This summer, I thought we could expand our conversation on prayer by talking about the kinds of things that people ask after they have been praying for a while.
This week let’s talk about spiritual direction. If you’ve been praying for any length of time, you might have heard about the practice of spiritual direction. So you might wonder: What is it? And is it for me? Essentially, a spiritual director helps you, the “directee,” notice where God is active in your personal prayer and your daily life. A good spiritual director doesn’t offer psychological counseling per se, or even advice about what to do in your life, but rather helps you to see where God is leading you. Normally, a person would meet with their spiritual director once a month, perhaps for an hour or so. I would say that anyone who is serious about living a healthy spiritual life should, at least for some time, seek out spiritual direction. And, by all means, get someone who is trained, not simply someone that you see as a holy person.
As St. Teresa of Avila said, if it’s a choice between someone who is holy or wise for a spiritual director, she’d pick wise. Why? Spiritual direction is a skill, and one that is learned. If you’re looking for director, some good places to start are a local retreat house, a recommendation from someone you know who goes to spiritual direction, or perhaps the website Spiritual Directors International.
Spiritual direction helps you to notice where God is. Why not try it out?