I Have Found a Spiritual Director!

I managed to find a spiritual director: He is an FSSP priest. After much searching, it is nice to have found one, as I have been looking for one since August. I am planning on meeting him next month.

Please pray for my possible vocation! :signofcross:

Bben, I’m very pleased to hear that. You likely know that most of the young talent in the Church is going into more traditional orders and societies like the FSSP. I’m glad yo found a director from that milieu.

God bless.

Fantastic news!

Keeping you in my prayers. :gopray2:


Good for you both! :thumbsup: Praying for you. :slight_smile:

Congratulations! I was ecstatic when I found a spiritual director, so I know how you much feel!

I’ll be praying for you! :slight_smile: God bless! :stuck_out_tongue:

So glad to hear you found a Spiritual Director you are comfortable with. Praying for the both of you.

May Our Lord guide you as you discern your vocation.

Good news! Not sure he’s your confessor as well but I have to say that both FSSP priests who have heard my confessions are VERY GOOD!

Bben, as you’re beginning spiritual direction, I think it probably a good idea to give some advice that I once received about it, derived largely from the work of Jean Grou and St Francis de Sales.

A good spiritual director can be very hard to find. However, a director might also say that a good penitent is very hard to find as well. You certainly have a right to look for specific qualities in your director, but you also have the obligation to cultivate in yourself certain qualities conducive to the goal which you hope to achieve.

The direction must be based only on supernatural ideas, directed only toward the greater glory of God and your own holiness, in order to be effective. If you burden your director with worldly concerns, you will get only worldly results. Thus, it’s a good idea to keep a few rules in mind.

First, only meet your director when you need to and speak only about things relating to God.

Second, always maintain a spirit of respect and seriousness in your conversations. As the Lord’s interests are the subject of discussion, He is truly present in the midst of your meetings. Never lose sight of that fact.

Third, be an open book to your director, always speaking your mind freely and openly. Withholding information from him will not benefit you. Remember that if you are benefiting from his direction, Satan might try to undermine your confidence in the director. Thus, I you doubt him or suspect him of anything, clear the air as soon as you can.

Fourth, as you are completely truthful and confident toward your director, you must also be completely obedient to him. Obey even when it is painful, even when it seems to offend your taste. Your will cannot be allowed to resist him, nor can you allow yourself to form any judgment against him, for these are evidently not the works of God.

Fifth, always see God in your director. Understand that God has brought you to him, and that God can take you away from him if it be to your soul’s welfare. Trust that God Himself can supply all of your needs.

Last, have faith in God’s supernatural Providence in leading the souls that give themselves over to Him completely. That is truly the faith by which the just live.

As you reveal your soul completely to your director, it is only fitting that you confess to him as well, for that complete revelation of your soul would include your sins as well. And always remember the final goal of any direction: spiritual perfection.

I hope this helps. God bless.

Very good advice. Thank you. :thumbsup:

Just to pick up on a couple of things bardegaulois said:

  1. You should see your SD on a regular basis - about monthly seems to be the norm - but don’t be afraid to see him more often if there’s a particular need. He’ll probably work out a timetable with you at your first meeting.

  2. SD is a spiritual conversation about you and your relationship with God but IMHO a good SD should challenge you to grow in that relationship, including by asking difficult questions where necessary.

  3. At the risk of stating the obvious, you are both human and human relationships are tricky things. Sometimes a relationship with an SD just doesn’t work and not because of any fault of the director or directed - don’t feel that you have to stick with the same SD no matter what but that’s where the important of being open with him comes into play.

  4. Like bardegaulois said, always speak your mind freely and openly - if something’s not important to he’ll no doubt tell you.

This brings up a very good question: when is one justified in changing spiritual directors? I don’t think this is something ever to be undertaken lightly, for it is well known that if one is benefiting from the direction, the devil will craftily attempt to sow seeds of doubt in an attempt to destroy the relationship. Assuming that the penitent took great and prayerful care in his initial choice of directors and remains very open and candid in his discourse with his director and obedient to his counsels, when is one justified in seeking another (aside from obvious cases, such as the counsel to objective sin and such)?

I ask this because I’ve known certain souls who’ve floated from director to director to director fruitlessly. That is a real problem. Perhaps a certain amount of time, say, six months, without the subjective experience or objective evidence of spiritual growth would suffice? I’m uncertain.

I think the problem with “floaters” as you call them, could indicate a number of problems. First is that the person really only wants to hear the nice stuff. When the director starts challenging the person , they quit and move on. As long as they are affirmed and hear what they want to hear, they are fine with the director. But in that case, it could be a poor director. I had a director like that and there really was’n’t any growth. She treated me as a beginner and wasn’t dealing with where I was on my spiritual journey.

There also has to be a spiritual connection. The directee has to pray for their director and visa versa. For some directors, and I hope not too mant, it is basically a job. They don’t make that connection with the person they are directing. They don’t really listen to what is in the heart of the person but have their own set pattern so to speak, for what happens in direction. Sort of a one size fits all. If you don’t feel that connection after several months it is time to move on.

Perhaps floaters need to truly pray about what they are looking for in direction. Some just want someone to listen to their problems. That is not what a director is for. You go to a therapist for that or a trusted friend. Yes, life problems do come up, but the focus should be how it is affecting one’s relationship with God. When I start going off on my problems with family or work my director always brings me back to prayer and my spiritual progress.

One thing I’ve noticed with having a SD from the FSSP is that the spiritual direction isn’t like what one reads about on the Internet. They seem to follow the old traditional method of spiritual direction in which it is their job to direct you to spiritual perfection. So, if you’re expecting your SD to tickle your ears with nice warm fuzzies, you’ll be disappointed. Expect to be challenged and tested, and make sure you pray for your SD and have Masses offered for him. The Devil hates you because you’re discerning the priesthood. The Devil especially hates your SD because he’s a priest (the devil hates priests) and he’s helping you to discern if you’re called to be one.

This is a point that cannot be made often enough. One gets out of direction what one puts into it, and thus those who just want a sort of psychotherapy or a pious encounter session will get that, and will go shopping around for a director who will offer that. A priest of the FSSP, or for that matter of any traditional group, will not, but will instead take the traditional purpose of direction very seriously. Our native selfishness will no doubt be very averse and rebellious to this.

Enter the devil who loathes us. His role should not catch us by surprise, nor should it be understated. His intent is to sever any relationship that leads us more and more to Christ’s perfection, usually by subtly appealing to our self-will. This is why I stated above that finding a new spiritual direction is never to be considered lightly, and never to be undertaken as a matter of taste. One should deliberate regarding the choice only at the beginning, and never in the midst, save regarding a very grave matter.

The best guarantee is openness to the director regarding the temptations of self-will, one’s doubts regarding direction, and such. But also prayer and the sacraments must not be ignored. Frequent the sacraments as though your life depended on it, for it does. And never forget prayers to your guardian angel and to St. Michael, our defenders against the wiles of the foe.

God bless.

I think one would be justified in seeking another if the relationship simply wasn’t working out. I don’t mean to suggest that one should give up at the first sign of difficulty but, at the same time, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that all involved are human and interpersonal relationships are tricky beasties at the best of times. Obviously careful discernment and consideration in one’s choice of an SD can help to avoid this problem (although not necessarily prevent it altogether). Like with any relationship though, communication is key - if there’s a problem then talk about it. besides that though, an individual’s needs can (and often do) change over time. As for an appropriate length of time, it would really depend on how frequently the SD meetings were - if only monthly, then IMHO six months would be too short.

This is a point that cannot be made often enough. One gets out of direction what one puts into it, and thus those who just want a sort of psychotherapy or a pious encounter session will get that, and will go shopping around for a director who will offer that.

Amen to that and to Deo Gratias’ point about seeking “warm fuzzies”. SD isn’t counselling - that’s a job for a trained professional and a good director will know where the limits of SD lie. As for warm fuzzies, a former director I had (not by choice I might add) would pretty much just tell me that every thing I told him about my prayer life etc seemed just fine without any sort of serious questioning. My current SD will ask me difficult and challenging questions, calling it as he saw it without any sugar coating - and that’s exactly what I want in a director.

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