Silly Question: What is a spiritual director?


#1

Hi! As I read over I notice a lot of people will say things like "I'm meeting with my spiritual director at the end of the month." Is that like your pastor or the vocations director in your diocese or is it someone else? Thanks!


#2

Not a silly question at all.

A spiritual director is someone you can discuss your spiritual life with and see how the Holy Spirit is active in your life.

You mentioned a vocation director and certainly if you are discerning a vocation, a spiritual director is essential. What vocation is God calling you to and how are you responding to that call?

But there are lots of other topics related to your relationship with God, your prayer life, your activities, etc. that can be discussed with a spiritual director.

A spiritual director might be a priest (who can then also be your confessor), a deacon, religious, or lay person.


#3

Just to add to this great :thumbsup: answer.

A vocation director is not a spiritual director if you are seeing them in their position as a vocation director. The job of a vocation director is to act almost like a recruiter for their group. They evaluate you as to how you would fit within their group. A spiritual director works with you and does not evaluate you. They work with you where you are at and help you to get where you wish to be going. That may or may not include a religious community or diocese.


#4

[quote="ByzCath, post:3, topic:286610"]
Just to add to this great :thumbsup: answer.

A vocation director is not a spiritual director if you are seeing them in their position as a vocation director. The job of a vocation director is to act almost like a recruiter for their group. They evaluate you as to how you would fit within their group. A spiritual director works with you and does not evaluate you. They work with you where you are at and help you to get where you wish to be going. That may or may not include a religious community or diocese.

[/quote]

Yes, I'd go further than that, and say that **many **spiritual directors are not always the best for comprehensive help with vocational discernment in the sense that they don't have a sufficient understanding of vocations to be able to help the directee in that area. For example, if a s.d. thinks that the two alternatives for a woman is convent or marriage (and throw in "single life" for good measure as a murky third) then that s.d. obviously can't point out the other vocations open to women for a woman to discern! A vocation director, as a "recruiter" ought to be seen as such and thus a person should not rely on the director to put a lot of emphasis on evaluating the discerner's suitability for other vocations. A man discerning the single permanent diaconate might actually have a vocation to be a diocesan hermit or to get married.


#5

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