© 2010 Vincentians Ireland
Provincial Office, St Pauls
Spiritual Direction is not new to you – you have been seeking guidance all your life; you have chosen role models, consciously or unconsciously; you have been choosing a path over many years while seeking advice along the way; in the end you did the discernment; you became your own director under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Direction is telling your story! It is your story which will make you a saint, not someone else’s story. Tell the human story and sit back to listen to it before God. Tell it as it is: simplicity.
It is about the Director, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, helping you to discern how God is calling you forward on a spiritual journey. “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the Word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” Luke 1: 1-4
What is important comes to the surface: Be patient and wait for the presenting issue. The Director is just the intermediary: God is the guide; you are the one who discerns where and how God is calling you. The Director benefits from observing God at work in your life. The one directed might be holier than the director, and might have a more important place in God’s plan. The Director will see your focus on God even though you may not feel close to God: Almost by default you betray your focus on some aspect of the spiritual life – it could simply be compassion for another; a sense of regret; a longing for God; an unease or restlessness are all indicators of a soul searching for goodness and for perfection. The Director helps you to see the pattern in your thoughts and words and how your life is being mapped out.
The Director is so privileged that he/she is your director. Together you stand on holy ground.
Make a date and come! Keep the appointment. Come when you feel you have nothing to bring – it is not an exam, but time out for yourself, an opportunity to hear your deepest desires once more. A Director knows that you, in fact, become your own director. He or she will facilitate you in discerning God’s will for you.
Direction keeps you honest with yourself, with God and with others. Embrace the crises: A crisis may be frightening for you but it is a call to growth. Do not be afraid. Spiritual Direction is about Personal Bests (p.b’s) as in athletics. No comparisons. It is about wanting to grow: Put your story out there and take an objective look at it as if it were someone else’s story. We are all the weakest links, God’s slowest learners! Have a laugh. Spiritual Direction is absolutely confidential.
Use the words of the twelve step programmes:
One day at a time
Easy does it
This too will pass
Keep coming back