I’ve seen many of you make reference to your spiritual director. What/who is this person? How do you choose a spiritual director? Is it appropriate to ask a person to fill this role?
A spiritual director is someone who can help you grow in holiness, encourage you in your spiritual life, see the workings of the Holy Spirit in your life, and provide wisdom and insight. The real Director in this is the Holy Spirit; your spiritual director gives the Spirit a voice.
Typically you meet with your director monthly to discuss issues in any of these areas. The relationship is ongoing – usually not just a meeting or two, but over a longer period of time.
Some people say that almost everyone needs a spiritual director while others say that almost no one needs one. I fall somewhere in between. We’ll assume that someone is serious about their spiritual life and wants it to grow deeper. For some of these people, confession and the advice received from the priest is plenty to keep them going. For others, something more or something different is needed. And maybe what’s needed is a spiritual director.
A spiritual director can potentially be a priest, deacon, religious brother or sister, or a layperson. If your director is a priest he can also be your confessor. Directors are easier to find in some areas and harder to find in others. If you want to find one, you can start by asking your pastor for a recommendation. He may not be able/qualified himself, but may know of good directors. You could also check at a nearby monastery, convent, or retreat center to see if they have or know of directors.
There is a lot of good guidance here:
Also, your spiritual director will ultimately have to be someone you are comfortable confiding in, because your conversations will need to be honest and sometimes really personal.
This is true. Spiritual direction will basically never go anywhere is one does not completely trust their director or hold anything back. This trust may not come right away but but it should eventually be there.