Do any of you have a spiritual director? If so, how did you find him/her? Is this something one pays a fee for, or do spiritual directors volunteer their time? What has your experience been like?
… and how does one find one?
Yes I have a spiritual director. As member of Christ Renews His Parish we have spiritual director for that particular group. Outside CRHP I have 2 spiritual directors. Both of them are good friends of mine. We get together in person or phone and discuss religious matters and other matters. Completely free.
That’s great. Do you know if there are certain qualifications one must have to be a spiritual director? And, is it strictly confidential (like a therapist, for example)?
Yes, I do. His name is Father Chris Onyenobi, and he has a website. I found my director through God through my grandmother. There is no fee for spiritual direction, but you can pay your director with prayer and sacrifice. My spiritual direction is fabulous, thanks for asking.
Actually some spiritual directors do charge a fee, or more exactly ask for a donation. These are usually people who live and work at a retreat center or monastary. The don’ations are how they support themselves or their congregation. While there are some very good spiritual directors who have not been trained as such, there is some training that is available and most good directors go to ongoing supervision with their peers. Anyone can hang out a shingle that they are spiritual directors and some have actually caused spritual harm to directees by following their own agenda and not allowing the directee to to open to the Spirit working in their lives. Therefore it is important to get a good recommendation from those who are in direction. Ask the person for references, or ask people who they go to for direction.
I knew my director personally before I started going to him to direction. I began with him because others I knew were going to him and recommended him when I left my previous director. I would not recommend having two directors at the same time, that can cause problems. It is good to have friends you can talk to about your spiritual life, but as far as direction goes, you need one person that you can trust and whose direction you can follow. There is a difference between a spiritual companion and a spiritual director.
If the spiritual director is a Priest or Superior, they can’t pay for spiritua direction. It’d be simony.
The first step in finding a spiritual director is to pray. Then you might check with the pastor of your parish. Quite likely he will not have the time to do spiritual direction, but he may know of someone he can recommend. You might also check with a retreat house, monastery, or convent if there is one in reasonable distance. A retired priest or religious may have more time available for spiritual direction than someone in active ministry.
There’s no licensing required for someone to call him or herself a spiritual director. So you need to ask questions or seek recommendations. There are programs that one can go through for certification, but that’s kind of a mixed thing. Having certification from a program means the person cares enough about this ministry to want to learn about it and that’s good. At the same time, certification isn’t proof that a person will actually be a good spiritual director and a lack of certification doesn’t mean that someone knows nothing about it.
My dear friend
Anyone can be your spiritual director. Just look for someone very knowledgeable about the faith, very holy and orthodox.
Opus Dei are extremely generous with volunteering their time for this if their near you.
God bless you and peace to you friend:thumbsup:
Not if it is a contribution. We ask for a contribution to masses to be offered, for weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. That is not simony. If a person cannot pay then arrangements can be made, but bills have to be paid and ministries have to be supported. I know quite a number of priests working out of retreat houses that ask for donations for spiritual direction. They are not for the priest personally but for the work of the retreat center. That is how the retreat center keeps its doors open.
Is there a typical agenda for a spiritual direction meeting? Does it typically include confession (routinely or each time)? My spiritual director doesn’t seem to have a specific agenda, but we are still getting to know each other…
After 11 years with my director we don’t have an agenda. Although I don’t think we ever did. I usually give him a heads up about what I want to talk about. I e-mail him a few days before so he can pray about it. He usually lets me talk first and then we have our discussion and he ends it up with his suggestions and then we pray. Usually we meet for about an hour or a bit over. Sometimes we include confession but usually I make an appt for confession at a time outside of our direction session, this way I can devote the entire direction session time to discussing things other than sins.
I’m in much the same situation as Joann. I set the agenda based on what’s happening in my life or what’s on my mind. When he was located closer to me I would go to confession separately from our spiritual direction meetings. Now that he’s at a distance we’ll do it in the same session. I let him know ahead of time if I’d like to go to confession and then his only question is whether I’d like to start or end with the sacrament. (Of course not everyone has a priest as a spiritual director so that may not be an issue.)
My dear friend
a good Sd is a great blessing. i had one for 20 yrs but unfortunately when I look back i could have gotten my cross anywhere. The main director is the Holy Spirit. If you can find a SD who will truly cooperate with Him then that’s good. find a SD whose knowledgeable and holy and who is genuinely concerned about you and empathetic and your nearly in heaven. Mine lacked true empathy. There were times i was nearly having a nervous breakdown and said so and was not offered a couch to rest on before the long trip home. sounds small but i mean a real breakdown that could lead to a crash whilst driving. The point being he just didn’t care or more likely would not take me seriously. probably thought I was making it up to get attention. i think he must have thought i just wanted attention too many times to count. Or asking me if I work for the devil because I confess something unusual. A lovely thing to ask your most devoted son of 13 odd yrs who was sick and not guilty of the sin anyway. He should have known I was not guilty too. Or after many yrs of chronic anxiety in SD being told to hurry it up as a cure to the mthly panic attacks in SD which was the greatest curse to one wanting to be a saint. The list goes on and on and he has no idea how much pain it’s caused me. A little empathy was needed and not the assumption I was just an attention seeker. it was real. A SD must always try to make a saint out of you. Under NO circumstances can he do otherwise. He must con you into it if needs be. If your SD has a low opinion of you you will suffer greatly from it. It will become a curse. He must NEVER put you down because he has been given great power and can make or break you. Mine broke me in the end. I’m so bitter on the whole SD thing I will never touch it again. I think I’m having a nervous breakdown now because of it. I would say choose carefully and wisely.
God bless you
P.S. I must add i’m having a breakdown because of the great suffering of the last 20 yrs and SD was not much help. It could have been if I was made to feel genuinely comfortable or taken seriously a lot of the time but especially when needed. I did not have to be believed but I NEEDED to be taken seriously. Lose weight and you’ll get that thing you need. What a thing to say to a son suffering so greatly. He’ll know what I mean. LOSE WEIGHT!!! I was going through hell and this is taking me seriously???:(:(
I’m presently discering my vocation but I do not have an SD, do I really need to find an SD or can I continue without one? (Sorry if I have taken this thread off track :o).
Dear friend, Pay no attention to me in my post above. I’m having a big breakdown and off to the doctor tomorrow for sure. I suggest you start a new thread with this one. You’ll get good answers over a few days I’m sure. Good luck with your vocation too. God bless. John:)
Thank you so much for your advice I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers.
[FONT=Calibri]My Retraction Re my Spiritual Director[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri]My SD is a very good and holy man. I should not have made him the target in my grief. I lashed out and the person who has the most influence with me and who has been intimately involved in my spiritual life and the person who knows me best was unfortunately fair game. I apologise to him most profusely. He told me many years ago spiritual directors can be used by the good Lord to try people. I believe my spiritual director has always done Gods will and acted in an appropriate manner. He just didn’t know the pain I went through. The pain was a cross the good Lord has willed for me and it’s caused great suffering. It was suffering from God to purify and sanctify me. It was not my spiritual directors fault. I guess God knows how to purify us and He did this with me. Spiritual direction is a great blessing for all. I highly recommend it. Once again I apologise to my spiritual director and ask him to understand my frail and unstable state of mind when I lashed out. I’m sorry. I appreciate the kind words and support and prayers of all. It’s helping. Thank you. Please pray for my spiritual director in case he’s hurt by this.[/FONT]
[FONT=Calibri]God bless all and my spiritual director:o[/FONT]