Finding a Spiritual Director

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Adam_C

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Our parish recently had the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal visit. During confession the priest I went to (Father Sylvester was awesome btw) told me that I may want to find a good spiritual director. When I asked him how to go about this he said to visit a local monastary. But do I just go there and say Hi, I’m looking for a spritual director or how does one go about this?

Thanks.
 
Dear Adam,

Yes, that’s pretty much what you do. You might want to do some preliminary research to see what kind of monastery it is, if you know what I mean. Then, if it seems like a good group, you go and ask…
 
Your spiritual director doesn’t have to be someone from a monastery, it can be any priest, deacon, theologian, etc. Just make sure it is someone who knows and loves Jesus and the Church and Her teachings so they won’t lead you astray.

I started going to my own priest a few months back as my spiritual director. While some might find it uncomfortable going to someone who knows you so well, I find it reassuring and comforting and I know he will help me be accountable with my actions as I see him so often!

Pray, pray, pray and spend some time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and He will lead you where He wants you to be. That’s what happened with me (although it almost took a smack to the side of my head before I plunged in!) 😉
 
Thank you both for your suggestions. I really appreciate them.
 
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Didi:
Your spiritual director doesn’t have to be someone from a monastery, it can be any priest, deacon, theologian, etc.
I wouldn’t phrase it that way. Most priests do not make competent spiritual directors. You might think they should–after all, spirituality is supposed to be their business–but most of them just don’t have high skills in that area.

I recommend that, if there is an abbey or monastery in your area, you make an appointment to see the abbot or the equivalent. Ask him to recommend one of his priests.

If you do not have a good abbey or monastery close by, and assuming your parish priest would not himself make a good spiritual director, ask him for a referral to the priest in the diocese who most likely would know about the capabilities of other priests. (Your parish priest may not actually know which other priests are good spiritual directors.) See that other priest and get one or more recommendations from him.
 
Hi Karl –

Thanks for your (name removed by moderator)ut! Actually, I feel very blessed to have my priest as a spiritual director – he is very wise, compassionate, practical and challenging. We do not have any abbey or monastery near by. But, I am also new to having a spiritual director, so maybe I’m not looking for the right qualities.

Do you have information about what to look for in a good spiritual director? Any help would be appreciated! :confused:
 
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Didi:
Hi Karl –

Actually, I feel very blessed to have my priest as a spiritual director – he is very wise, compassionate, practical and challenging.
Spiritual directors are supposed to have special training for that. While some priests may naturally be good at directing, other, even with the training, will struggle to lead someone in this spiritual walk. You may want to know if someone you choose for a director went for such a course. Moreover, you are not to be tied to someone just because you chose him. If you find that he is very busy with other things and is not giving you much attention you are free to try someone else.

Moreover even sisters can be good directors. The whole of last year, while I was in the novitiate I had a sister for a directress. She was very good. I have heard of lay people who have attended the courses on spiritual direction too, but I have not seen anyone directing yet.
 
Ok, I actually feel kind of stupid here, but I also have questions within this topic.

One would think I would know the answer as several years ago a friend of mine and I joked about him being my “Spiritual Advisor” as he gave me a lot of spiritual advise, but just the same, it was really only a joke.

I have run across the term “Spiritual Advisor or Director” several times, and now I am prompted to question what that really means? Why would someone need a Spiritual director, what would either hope to gain out of the relationship…etc.

Can someone enlighten me? Should everyone have a spiritual director or just people with specific circumstances?
 
I think people seek spiritual direction for many reasons. It could be because of a difficult time (divorce, death,etc.); it could be because one is trying to discern a particular vocation; it could be that someone is at a point spiritually where they have a lot of questions, and need good, solid guidance.

I believe most who are in religious life (priest, brother, sister) have a spiritual director.

It is helpful to have someone who gets to know you well, and I appreciate going to a priest so I can also go to confession as we talk about my failings and he can challenge me with different ways to overcome my sin and faults. The sacrament of reconciliation is not really a time for counseling and guidance in detail, so a spiritual director can assist with this.

I’m no expert, but hope this helps!
 
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JCPhoenix:
Ok, I actually feel kind of stupid here, but I also have questions within this topic.

One would think I would know the answer as several years ago a friend of mine and I joked about him being my “Spiritual Advisor” as he gave me a lot of spiritual advise, but just the same, it was really only a joke.

I have run across the term “Spiritual Advisor or Director” several times, and now I am prompted to question what that really means? Why would someone need a Spiritual director, what would either hope to gain out of the relationship…etc.

Can someone enlighten me? Should everyone have a spiritual director or just people with specific circumstances?
Don’t feel stupid, feel smart for for being brave enought to admit the the things you don’t know and ask for clarification. That’s courage not stupidity.

Spiritual Director is someone who helps you establish a closer realationship whith God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Basically a mentor in forming your relationship with God. Some people fell the need for a Spritual Director, while others prefer to read books, excersize certain practices or do certain works of mercy or some combination of all of the above. The point is a Spiritual Director is a guide on the journey of faith.

Hope that helps,

RP
 
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rjmporter:
Spiritual Director is someone who helps you establish a closer realationship whith God through Christ in the Holy Spirit. Basically a mentor in forming your relationship with God. Some people fell the need for a Spritual Director, while others prefer to read books, excersize certain practices or do certain works of mercy or some combination of all of the above. The point is a Spiritual Director is a guide on the journey of faith.

Hope that helps,

RP
Thanks! That does clarify things a bit.
 
Adam C.:
Our parish recently had the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal visit. During confession the priest I went to (Father Sylvester was awesome btw) told me that I may want to find a good spiritual director. When I asked him how to go about this he said to visit a local monastary. But do I just go there and say Hi, I’m looking for a spritual director or how does one go about this?

Thanks.
Dear Adam,
I too was once looking for a spiritual dirictor, and after looking in many different places, and finding none that I was comfortable with, I turned to our beloved mamma. I asked her to help me find a spiritual Dirictor that loved her greatly. A few days later I was at mass at a friends Parish, It was a feast of out beautiful mother, and her statue was up near the alter and when the priest was passing by it, he stoped and gave her a kiss, and he has been my spitual dirictor ever since. Our Lady knows a perfect one just for you. Go To her so she may bring you to him. God Bless you.
Kath
 
Most good spiritual directors will have these qualities:
  • Good listeners (critically important).
  • They let the directee set the agenda.
  • They recognize God is the true director.
  • Many directors have special training in this ministry.
  • They subscribe to a code of ethics, such as the code established by the Center for Sacred Psychology.
  • Good directors receive spiritual direction themselves.
  • Strong background in scripture and theology.
Hope this helps, peace and blessings, C55
 
Thanks to all for your (name removed by moderator)ut. It is greatly appreciated.
 
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