Spiritual Director


What is a Spiritual Director?

Why does one need one?

What does a Spiritual Director do?

I tried searching these in the search engine and couldnt find anything out. Very Curious to know the answers, thanks!


I asked a similar question very recently:



Thanks. I looked at your post. Is a Spiritual Director someone who “holds you accountable” such as what protestants seem to have?

are they there to help you from falling into the same sins over and over?

are they there to help counsel and pray for you? Is this the role and purpose of a Spiritual director?


A spiritual director is someone who helps you to see where God is working in your life and where you are working against God.

They help you to see what is working in your prayer life and what is not and may guide you in a different “path” than what you’ve been doing.

If a priest, they can act as confessor and help you to overcome any obstacles on the path to holiness.

I have had 3 directors over the past 8 years. Each as helped me in different ways, and as a result I have grown & matured in my faith and in my relationships, It has been a very good thing.


Do you just go up to a Priest or a Deacon and ask them if they would be interested in being a spiritual director? Also, you mentioned you have had 3 directors. How do you know when you need someone different?


You may ask your priest, however, sometimes it’s good to go to someone you don’t see often/daily. I see my SD every 6 weeks. That gives me time to reflect on the Scripture or Spiritual reading he has suggested. There are also Lay Directors which can be great as well, although the CAF members don’t seem keen on the idea. One of the best SD’s I ever had was a layman. A person doesn’t necessarily “need” to change them, unless it’s just not working out or one of you relocates.
A good place to start is by going to a retreat center near you, and inquiring about Spiritual Direction. Your Diocese and your Pastor may have good recommendations as well.
It’s a wonderful thing. Just to have the time set aside for a deep conversation about God and your road to holiness. It’s a beautiful experience, not always smooth, but always rewarding.


I believe most spiritual directors have had some training, and are usually not deeply involved in parish work, that is, they have the time to meet for direction. I have had two spiritual directors over the past six years. First time I went to a monastery and was interviewed by the head of the order there who discerned three possible directors for me, two lay and one a sister. I spoke to them in turn and began seeing the sister for a few years. My current director is a priest who was referred by a friend. My first director and I reached an impasse on a particular difficulty I was experiencing, and I stopped seeing her. In hindsight, I know now she was right. I might have returned to her, but my current director came into my life. As direction involves much prayer and discernment on spiritual matters, that also applies to the direction relationship. Godspeed!


a spiritual director can answer the questions posed here. and they can help you see in yourself, what you are unable to see. many saints and doctors of the church had them. they are very mature in the faith, and very difficult to find. i have asked without success, it seems to be a lost art.


I am a Spiritual Director. I have received training in the Ignatian style of direction with specific concentration on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola. I am on staff (Asst DRE) at a Jesuit parish. We have about eight lay SDs and all four of our Jesuit priests are directors. We have another eight lay parishioners that are currently in SD training. Most of our direction is done in the form of the Spiritual Exercises. We also offer Advent and Lenten weeks of directed prayer. The 19th annotation of the Exercises is offered through weekly meetings over a six to nine month schedule.


I have a relative who is a Spiritual Director and has a Masters in Theology.

Spiritual Directors are not a dime a dozen, in part because many, if not most Catholics may only be vaguely aware of such a person or activity, and often do not see it as applicable to their life.

Certainly a deep prayer life would seem a prerequisite, as well as training in how to do spiritual direction. It is a bit like psychological counseling; some of both should be within the confines of common sense, but there is a tad bit more to each than just common sense.


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