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What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction isn't something new. 

Its Christian history goes back to the early centuries after Jesus death when men and women left for the desert to focus on their spiritual life.  These communities preceded the monasteries and convents we are more familiar with in modern times. Most religions have some form of spiritual direction.  Today, more and more lay people are called to provide spiritual direction.


What can you expect from a spiritual director?

  • Someone with a perspective outside of your friends and family.

  • Someone with whom you can be totally honest about your doubts and uncertainties about God and religion

  • Someone who reminds you—love, care and constancy are present in all of life’s circumstances.

  • Someone to stay with you on the road when you are spiritually weary.

  • Someone who keeps the faith when yours feels weak.

  • Someone to stay with you while you struggle to make sense of issues that aren’t resolved quickly or easily.

My first experience with spiritual direction

Over a decade ago I attended a 2 day silent retreat through the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality in Louisville,KY.  As part of the retreat I met with a spiritual director.  It felt like a therapy session but the director spent most of the time listening to me with an occasional question to help me discern what I was feeling or thinking. When I left I was intrigued by our meeting, she was so quiet but at the same time she asked me important questions that somehow brought me to a deeper understanding about myself and my relationship with God. That conversation happened over a decade ago but remained with me and was pivotal to me pursuing spiritual direction training.

“The goal of spiritual direction is spiritual formation—the ever-increasing capacity to live a spiritual life from the heart. A spiritual life cannot be formed without discipline, practice, and accountability.” Henry Nouwen, Spiritual Direction

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