Spiritual Direction Experiences


Hi all.

I'm actually discerning towards a vocation with the Jesuits and am undergoing spiritual direction under a Jesuit Father, though my next meeting is only towards the end of June due to my exams and his busy schedule as well. I've come up with a bit of a conundrum since my last meeting and was wondering if anyone else had the same experiences.

He told me to listen to what God is telling me, to be more open to God communicating to me. And I've tried to do that, but I'm probably doing it wrongly. What I feel, and this is a little hard to describe, is God's presence - not like an emptiness or anything - I feel that God is there, but I don't think He is, strictly speaking, telling me anything. It's like I'm asking and He's remaining silent. On purpose. It's not like I feel abandoned. I just feel like I'm waiting and waiting on the edge and the answer is just within reach but try as I might, I can't grasp it. Not sure if that makes sense.

Also, and this I should have asked him in our last session, how do you know whether it's God telling you something, or whether it's just your own voice or coincidence in daily life? How do you distinguish God's voice from everything else? I feel like I want to be a priest, but I'm unworthy of the priesthood, and there's a cynical part of me that says "Maybe I want to be a priest but I'm not called". Is that me talking to me or God literally talking to me?



Congratulations Aphraxus - you've got the hard part sorted: listening to God! The fact that you feel his presence (and I understand what you mean by this) is a great sign that you're on the right track.

It's easy to want signs - ready answers from God to our questions - and to want God to speak to us. Of course just because that's what we want doesn't mean that it's what God wants. God speaks to us in the silence of our hearts when the time is right for us (which only He can know). My advice to you would be firstly to discuss this with your spiritual director but also to just keep doing what your doing.

One way I've found to distinguish God's voice from the many others around me is by noticing those thoughts that keep coming back to me - such as priesthood. also sometimes things just fall into place... Also listen to the advice of people like your spiritual director and also others - if people tell you that they think you'd make a good priest, they may well be on to something...

As for unworthiness - welcome to the club! If anyone thinks they're worthy to be a priest then they're probably not called! In any event, whether or not anyone is called isn't for that person to decide but for those responsible for their selection and / or formation.


God rarely answers at the time or in the way we expect.

And maybe God is asking you to rest a while in his love, and bathe in his peace.

Have you tried contemplative prayer?

I'm sure God will answer you if not already.


It is fine to tell your director what you've just explained. Keep listening God can surprise us sometimes.



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