Is it a sin not to obey your spiritual director?


#1

is it a sin not to obey your spiritual director?


#2

I would say it depends.

Why are you disobeying?
What are you disobeying?

Questions I would ask myself:
Am I disobeying because “I know better” or because the “direction” is “too hard” or “out of my comfort zone”? Am I doubting the advice of my director out of fear/pride or because he is encouarging me to sin?

My best advice, based on 6 years of experience with spiritual direction-
bring this to your director ASAP! This type of relationship requires complete honesty at all times. Most of us are in spiritual direction because we want to be, and we choose directors who who believe will bring us closer to God.

IMHO, disobeying my spiritual director, in light of where I am in my spiritual journey, would be a sin.


#3

Obviously it depends on the issue involved. Mostly I would consider it a question of prudence rather than sin.

If I didn’t trust my spiritual director I would question why I was seeing him. Perhaps it’s time to find someone new.


#4

Yes. Unless he is telling you to sin.


#5

You are spiritually accountable to God alone. So I would say on the surface that no it’s not. As long as you are not being deceptive and leading him or her to believe you are doing something and are not. That would be like lying. Be honest with him or it will be hard for him to function to your spiritual benefit.


#6

When I first got a spiritual director, he told me that he was not there to tell me what to, but just to accompany me, as a pianist accompanies a singer. It is my song to sing, he is just the support.

So I wouldn’t think it was a sin, unless of course what he told you to do was what the church teaches and you would not follow.


#7

[quote="Nige90, post:6, topic:312352"]
When I first got a spiritual director, he told me that he was not there to tell me what to, but just to accompany me, as a pianist accompanies a singer. It is my song to sing, he is just the support.

[/quote]

This is also what I was told. In fact, where I live we don't even use the term "director." What would be known as a "spiritual director" in the country I grew up in is called a "spiritual father" (or mother) in the country where I live now. The direction itself is known as "spiritual accompaniment." Spiritual direction does exist here, but it's generally ad hoc and only used when the spiritual father/mother seeks to prevent someone from (mortally) sinning.

That said, I obey my SD in everything. If I cannot (not merely don't want to, but actually can't), I tell him why. If he advises me to do something and I don't understand the purpose of his suggestion, I ask for clarification. I don't always get it. Sometimes I am expected to obey without immediately knowing why (I generally find out somewhere down the road). I do not always do well with this. There have been many times when I would fight him tooth and nail, sometimes for hours or even days. But do I trust him, so in the end I always obey. If I were to one day find my trust waning, that would be the moment to examine whether I should continue obtaining direction from him or if perhaps it's time to move on.

As to whether or not it's an actual sin to disobey one's SD versus being something that one simply should not do, that I don't know. JLM28 asserted it is, and while I don't have strong feelings about this one way or the other I would still be curious to find out why it's sinful.


#8

It is never a sin to disobey your director. It is a sin to disobey God.


#9

If you can’t trust him, I don’t see how he could be your spiritual director. If you do trust him, explain to him what it is you can’t obey. :slight_smile:


#10

Unless you’ve taken a vow of obedience to him (which is discouraged), no.


#11

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:10, topic:312352"]
Unless you've taken a vow of obedience to him (which is discouraged), no.

[/quote]

Do nuns/sisters have to take a vow of obedience to their spiritual director or does mother superior tell them they must obey their spiritual director because one of the books I read by a saint said she couldn't do a good work if her spiritual director says she can't or she sins. It was by Catherine of Siena in the dialogue with "God". The Catechism says that we do not have to obey parents if they tell us to do something against our moral conscience.


#12

[quote="Loyal_J, post:11, topic:312352"]
Do nuns/sisters have to take a vow of obedience to their spiritual director or does mother superior tell them they must obey their spiritual director because one of the books I read by a saint said she couldn't do a good work if her spiritual director says she can't or she sins. It was by Catherine of Siena in the dialogue with "God". The Catechism says that we do not have to obey parents if they tell us to do something against our moral conscience.

[/quote]

I believe that most (if not all) religious must obey their spiritual director. It is not like someone could refuse to obey the abbot or abbess without a very, very good reason.


#13

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