Spiritual Director...what do they do?


#1

As I have documented here before, I am in the pre-aspirancy phase of the diaconate. Sometime this fall or winter, I hope to begin the process of entering into discussion with the church on seeing if I would be a fit to be a permanent deacon.

Anyhow, this past June, I meet with the director of the program (a Deacon himself) and he suggested that I get a spiritual director now. He said that I should not use my own pastor as it might be a conflict for him. Something about my pastor needs to tend to my pastoral needs and that may not fit well with the spiritual director role.

Anyhow, I found a priest who said that he would talk with me about this. He was questioning why I need a spiritual director now since I am not an aspirant just yet, but he did agree to meet with me in a few days.

So my question is this. What is a spiritual director? What should I expect? What might he ask of me? What should I expect from him? What should I do to be fully open to this process?

Thank you all for your help…God bless,

John


#2

A spiritual director is a guide who can lead and guide you in your spiritual development. There are several classical routes of direction to follow from "introduction to the devout life by St Francis De Sales to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. There’s the Carmalite spirituality of St Theresa of Avila and St John of the Cross and much much more


#3

Thanks Anruari, but what will happen in these sessions? Will he give me homework? Will he just ask me questions?

God bless,
John


#4

You will find lots of info if you do a “Google” search with the key words:
Catholic, Spiritual, Direction

Here’s just one quickie from a Jesuit website:

thinkjesuit.org/spiritual-direction/


#5

Well, I met with a priest last night to talk about being my spiritual director and I have a great visit. I learned some, and came to find out that the priest that I was speaking with used to be part of the teaching staff for the diaconate. He and I parted ways last night with the agreement that he will be helping me and I will see him about once a month. Part of my visits with him may lead to a confession as we peel back the layers to find what path God is calling me to follow.

The one thing that he did though was give me a book to read, and he said we will discuss parts of it when I meet with him next. I had never heard of the book before, but he said it would be a good read for me in helping me. It wasn’t until today though that I started to read the book, and parts of it seems to contradict what the church’s teachings are (at least I think they do). The book I am talking about, which I am finding out is very polarizing, is The Ragamuffin Gospel by Manning.

I think in concept, the book is saying God wants all of us, but sometimes it makes it sound as if we don’t have to do anything and we will be saved. I don’t think that is true. Yes, God wants to drug addicts, the drunks, the crooks, but I think he wants them to cleanse their life and turn to the gospel.

Anyhow, I’m not entirely sure why he asked me to read this. Maybe because we need to be welcoming to all walks of life in the church, or maybe for some other reason. Time will tell I guess. I’ll try and keep an open mind, but so far, the first chapter has been challenging as it goes against some of the things I believe. I guess as long as I recognize that and don’t take it as “gospel” I should be okay.

God bless all!

John


#6

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