Spiritual Direction is many faceted and can include:
- Guidance for growth in your image of God and your prayer life
- Help in finding God in life’s challenges and in the ordinary mundane life
- Assistance in discerning God’s will
- Facilitating with inner healing work and dream work
- Support in cultivating spiritual practices
Our God is the main real agent of growth in our lives. The spiritual director is a trained listener, guide, and friend on your spiritual journey. In the context of a safe, one-to-one, confidential relationship, you meet with the spiritual director for one hour as often as you want and reflect on your spiritual journey. You can attend as many or as few sessions as you like and share as little or as much as you are ready and comfortable. You are always free to determine the pace of your own process of spiritual growth.
During a typical spiritual direction session the directee (person receiving spiritual direction) might share about relationships, family, choices, loss, purposes in life, work, prayer life, church life, or various struggles. The spiritual director’s primary task is to help you notice God’s action in all these and how you are responding to these divine initiatives.
Spiritual direction is directee-centered and non-directive, that is, the director tries to draw out of you what you need to know and do rather than giving advice. Spiritual direction is about your relationship with God and the ultimate guide (director) is the Holy Spirit. While emotional relief is often a valued by product, spiritual direction looks at your total spiritual formation process and pathways, which can bring greater sense of identity, purpose and meaning to your life.
Spiritual direction can take place for just a few sessions or for a few years. Mostly monthly, directees maintain their sessions for at least a year. Others see the value of regular, ongoing feedback and support for their spiritual journey for a longer term period.
What some Known Christian Writers say about Spiritual Direction
- Spiritual direction takes place when two people agree to give their full attention to what God is doing in one (or both) of their lives and seek to respond in faith.
Eugene Peterson defines guide using the word hogegenesis – one who leads you in the way, describing such a guide “not as a shopkeeper who sells maps of the wilderness but the person who goes with you into it.”
Eugene Peterson, Working the Angles: The Shape of pastoral Integrity
- Spiritual direction is a kind of discernment about discernment. We explore what has seemed more and less important to us and how we are making choices and acting on our observations. We pay attention to how we interpret our experiences, thoughts, and feelings associated with our relationship with God and how that relationship influences our human relationships. At times the spiritual director will ask questions that encourage exploration of a particular Scriptural passage, concept, or way of praying or journaling. These suggestions are intended to help directees clarify and examine their own questions and considerations.
Jeannette A Bakke, Holy Invitation: Exploring Spiritual Direction
- The whole purpose of spiritual direction is to penetrate beneath the surface of a person’s life, to get behind the façade of conventional gestures and attitudes which one presents to the world, and to bring out one’s inner spiritual freedom, one’s inmost truth, which is what [Christians] call the likeness of Christ in one’s soul. This is an entirely supernatural (spiritual) thing, for the work of rescuing the inner person from automatism belongs first of all to the Holy Spirit.
Value of Spiritual Direction
- Helps us understand our life experiences in reference to our faith journey
- See with greater clarity our journey of growth
- Enables us to know God and His ways more intimately
- Recover and empower to live from our true authentic identity in Christ
- Opens up new ways of praying in our lives
- Affirmed and loved with our needs and vulnerabilities
- Receive support in our exploration and cultivation of spiritual practices
Qualities of a Spiritual Director
- One who seek after God with authenticity and integrity
- Skilled in facilitating
- A good listener
- Spacious and open disposition
- Caring and encouraging
- Rooted in the word of God
- Familiar with church history and broad Christian spirituality
- Understand human and faith development
Alfred subscribe to those drawn up by Spiritual Director International which can be found on their website: http://www.sdiworld.org/publications/guidelines-ethical-conduct
In order to accommodate different income levels, there is a range for the fees. Directees pay whatever they decide is financially sustainable for them within this range. My hope is that better-off directees will pay at the top end of the scale so that less well-off directees can pay at the lower end of the scale. In case of financial difficulty, arrangements can be made to suit your situation. Financial hardship should not be a barrier to experiencing spiritual direction.
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