How does one get a spiritual director?


How does one go about getting a spiritual director? What can be expected of them?

Thank you!


Ask your parish priest, he will be able to direct you to a good director, or at the very least should be able to give you a list of spiritual director working in your diocese.

As far as what to expect, that’s a little vague for me, could you be a bit more specific?

In Carmel,

Br. Allem


Thank you, brother Allen. I don’t really know what spiritual directors do, other than what I can assume from their titles. Are they assigned to you by someone? I don’t want to be put in a situation in which I have to tell someone like my parish priest that I wouldn’t even trust him to direct traffic. I’m most interested right now in people telling me about their experiences with their own spiritual directors to decide whether I want one or not. So far, this forum has acted as my spiritual director, and I’m grateful for everything I’ve got from the good people who care to answer my questions and those who know what I need to hear even when I’m not asking. God bless you.


Prayer, first of all, for a spiritual director is a great grace which few souls receive. Spiritual direction - the divine gift of confiding your soul to a priest for direction in your spiritual life - is not to be taken lightly, and you must obey your spiritual director in all things - even if he wants you to do something contrary to the will of God.

Pray and ask a priest if he will be your spiritual director. God may actually direct you to a certain priest, too. Pray, pray, and pray! :slight_smile:


Well, from my own experience, Spiritual Direction has been great. I have been blessed to have such good Spiritual Directors (Plural because I get moved around a lot). The Spiritual Director helps you along in your prayer life, and helps you to see how God is working in your life. It is an amazing experience, and I would seriously recommend it to anyone looking to move deeper into the spiritual life.

In Carmel,

Br. Allen


Yikes! Please clarify what you mean by this, and provide a source from Catholic teaching.

Peace all.


Thanks again. Is it OK to ask any priest you like to be your spiritual director? It seems to me like the task could be very time consuming and frustrating, and it must be hard to tell someone who asks you basically to be his second father that you’re not interested, thank you very much.


Thank you for catching me on that! gives you a bag of cookies

Okay, what I mean is this:

Many of the saints - like St. Faustina and St. Ber–um, I can’t spell her name, the lovely lady who was privledged to recieve the apparitions of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes - had spiritual directors, which I believe God gave them because they would face many perils in their spiritual lives and so needed a visible representative of Christ to guide them to the Lord Himself.

Now, one of the tests of a receiver of an apparition is obedience, and this is what I was getting at when I said you must obey your spiritual director in all matters. St. Faustina was told by Jesus to do a certain task (I think it was to put on a hairshirt, which is a very big penance), and she reported it to her spiritual director, who refused her the penance. St. Faustina went back to Jesus and said her spiritual director wouldn’t allow it; He than explained to her that He didn’t want her to actually do the penance, He was just seeing if she was going to be obedient, and than He clarified that He loved a soul who obeyed His priests, even if they wanted the soul to do something contrary to His Will.

The lovely lady who was given the priveledge of the apparitions of the Immaculate Conception went to her spiritual director (who I believe was the pastor of the church) and reported the apparitions to him. He said the apparitions were false and told her to make an inappropriate gesture to the apparition every time it would appear to her. The saint obeyed, but she was very polite about it, always appologizing profoundly to the apparition. But Mary just smiled and said she was being tested in obedience.

I think the second story happened to that saint, or it could have been another lady. I’m a bit confused now.

But nonetheless, obedience is absolutely important in spiritual direction! :slight_smile:


YIKES! indeed. We should never act against what we know assuredly and confidently to be God’s Will in any circumstances. Also some are under spiritual direction without any sort of promise or vow of obedience to that spiritual director. This is usually discussed carefully and prayerfully with one’s director before any move is made to make such a promise or vow. One is always free however to make a private promise or vow to God (to obey one’s director), but never to be done lightly or under stress. Personally, I would not make a vow or promise to obey my director unless discussing it with him or her first…it is only fair I think for the director to know that he/she was no longer advising…but telling/ordering.



Yes it is ok, but remember, pray, pray, pray for God’s Will. He may not even want you to have a spiritual director. So pray for Him to show you His Will for you, that you may live by His Will.


You can ask your priest but be prepared for him to turn you down. They usually have many demands on their time.

I would also give thought to why you want a spiritual director. What are you hoping to get from the relationship? You don’t have to tell us, but if you’re asking your pastor for a referral he may find it helpful to know.


You do not have to be a priest to be a spiritual director. There are many deacons, religious and laity who have been trained as spiritual directors and are very good at it. Not all priests are trained as directors nor would all be good at it and not all priests would even take on the job if asked. It is a BIG responsibility to direct a person.

That said, my director is a priest and yes it does involve obedience but the extreme that was described is very exceptional. A good director would NEVER ask a directee to go against God’s will since their JOB is to help you to follow God’s will not the director’s will.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit