'Within each of us lies the desire to find meaning beyond
the moment ... to discover our true selves ... to grow closer
to God and to one another. A spiritual director can
help you satisfy that longing'.
(Spiritual Directors International)
Is Spiritual companionship only for the pious few (priests, pastors, elders, nuns, monks, saints)?
All of us are seeking a deeper and more heartfelt connection to God in our everyday lives. The process of spiritual direction is for everyone who feels a longing for a more peaceful and hope-filled life, and a deeper realization of who God is for them. We help you to explore the spiritual aspect of your humanity and draw closer to the One who created you.
Is Spiritual direction "New Age"?
The origins of spiritual direction date back for thousands of years. Scripture shows mentoring relationships such as Paul and Timothy. Spiritual guidance can also be found in the New Testament in the form of the Epistles and this practice dates back to the earliest days of the Church. Throughout human history the process of spiritual direction has been an ancient and venerable Church tradition in every region in the world. Today there is an increasing interest in Spiritual Direction and we have seen its revival as people are embracing this time honoured practice.
Spiritual directors are perfect and the spiritual path is about attaining perfection.
Spiritual direction or spiritual companionship is not about being perfect. It is about allowing things to be as they are, resting in and waiting on God, and then, taking appropriate action when called for. Silence, deep listening, and non-doing are contemplative practices often explored in spiritual direction as a way to deepen our relationship with God and the spiritual aspect of our humanity.
While it certainly helps to find a spiritual companion who is a “good fit,” God makes use of all of our experiences to help us grow in love and compassion. The spiritual direction tradition values humility and the journey towards God, spiritual growth and transformation.
What do I look for in a Spiritual Director?
Finding a spiritual director is a very personal and spiritual quest. The desire and search for the “right fit” is an important part of the process.
Spiritual Directors International & the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD) publishes guidelines for ethical conduct, which provides a framework for a healthy spiritual direction relationship. You may want to ask your prospective spiritual directors about their formation and training, on-going education, if they are in supervision for their ministry and if they abide by the guidelines for ethical conduct.
Remember, it is up to you to choose your spiritual director wisely. Let them know what has drawn you to spiritual direction at this time in your life and notice how comfortable it is for you to tell your faith story. Listen carefully for the way the spirit is guiding you in your selection process.
Each person seeking a spiritual director needs to take reasonable steps to verify the competency of any potential spiritual director.
Spiritual Directors International recommends you ask each person you interview to become your spiritual director questions such as:
- What enrichment, spiritual formation, and theological education do you have in spiritual direction?
- What is your personal experience tending your own prayer, meditation and contemplative life?
- What is your experience as a spiritual director? How many years? In what environments?
- How do you continue your education and supervision for your spiritual direction ministry?
- What ethical guidelines do you abide by, such as those published by Spiritual Directors International or the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD)? Have you ever been accused or convicted of misconduct?
*Some of the information used on this page is courtesy of Spiritual Directors International