I had been a serious and committed protestant for 15 years. Since becoming a Catholic in 2005 and entering into spiritual direction I have experienced more positive change in the past few years than over the past 15 prior to conversion. I know my conversion and the Eucharist and His grace in His Church has had a huge effect. However, the greatest single influence that I can point to is spiritual direction. Have you experienced the same thing? Did it change you? If so, how?
I was raised in the Catholic Church, and I am very glad that I was confirmed. Even now, I still see it as an honor.
However, now, I am Agnostic… a hardcore Agnostic, and although I feel a rush of gratitude for everything the Church has done for me and how I turned out, I have never been happier knowing and understanding that anything is possible.
Being Agnostic has made me more tolerant, more loving, more understanding, and even more fulfilled. It makes me feel I can truly make a difference in this world.
Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood
I’m a cradle Catholic who has been in spiritual direction for about six years. And I’ve seen more change in the past six years than in all the years before that. We’re not talking about a sudden change – that after one meeting everything was different. But in looking back I can see that after a year I was very different than I had been the year before, and the same thing after two years or three years. One definite area of change is that I’m much more sensitive to God’s presence in my life and where he may be calling me.
Lifeisawesome and SuscipeMeDomine, you have both given me a big boost for toward getting on with the spiritual direction! I need to get a spiritual director and begin meeting with him. Because of your messages, I feel inspired to get that arranged tomorrow!
LE - Do you already have one in mind?
SMD - just curious - do you have a “program of life” or some sort of plan that you assembled with your SD?
I just looked at the page you linked to. We’ve never done anything formal, but these are all areas we’ve talked about and continue to talk about.
One way we’ve looked at life issues is through a balance of knowing, loving, and serving God. Knowing in an intellectual sense – through reading, classes, etc. Loving through prayer and a deepening relationship. And serving other people and the Church. I would find it easy to emphasize one area at the expense of the others, so it helps me to have someone who helps maintain a balance. (Or to put it another way, who reminds me to do what’s harder as well as what’s easier.)
Yes, a “Father Christian” at a nearby church. The only problem is he’s very old, and I’m afraid he’ll retire or die before many years.
But you’ll have him for however long you’ll have him and you can learn a lot from someone who has been living the Christian life for a long time.
For whatever it is worth, I agree
Great :). I appreciate the support on this.
Besides you’ll see him in Heaven. Friendship with a devout true Christian is forever.
LE - Here is a new topical index on spiritual direction that you might find helpful…
Blessings to you.
I have posted here before and I don’t know if this is the right place to ask some questions about spiritual direction but I’ll give it a shot.
I have been attending RCA in my new parish because I will be making my confirmation this Easter, I will be making it in my old parish within my hometown, but am taking the class with my current parish. Well the lead teacher is a former nun and spiritual director. We met for what would be my first spiritual direction, the problem is some of her comments throw me because they don’t seem to be what I have learned or what I believe what should I do I would feel badly to tell her so. I will try to share the comments that threw me maybe I am just to picky, First she said EWTN needs help that it is not very good to watch because it is very much like the church she grew up in, that it was too pre- vatican 2 ? I have watched this for a year and I have found it to be very inspiring part of my journey. Next she said she doesn’t think of satan as a man more of something that feels good so we cling to it? HUH? Not like a little man with a tail and pitchfork. I can see that but to say he is not an entity doesn’t seem right. Then when I asked her her feelings on medjugorje because this often confuse me, she said that she thinks Mary has better things to worry about than satan. That she is more concerned with the poor. I know we don’t have to believe in Medjugorje but isn’t Mary very concerned with satan? She also showed me the library and when I told her what I have been reading she said I need to read some newer theology I read immitation of christ, and I also mentioned abandonment to divine providence. These books have helped me also.Maybe I am just to stubborn or Maybe I am expecting too much I feel more confused now like I went there kind of expecting to talk about what my concerns and questions are as far as where I am at in my jounrney and now I feel in my silent prayer I hear the Lord and know what He is teaching me and that what she is saying is opposite I am very confused my mother told me to stay away how is this possible she’s teaching the RCA I am sure she is very well meaning but I am left bewildered. I am very shy and have a hard time disagreeing with people so I guess I just internalize it when I should be honest and open how can I kindly say I don’t agree, what if I am wrong? Could she have been testing me? God Bless any advice is appreciated.
Personally, I would not take spiritual direction from anyone who questioned the magisterium of the Church. To be at odds with the magisterium is to be at odds with Christ. The Church and the teachings of the Church are our only sure anchor of the truth and the working of God in our lives. Seeking to grow in faith with the assistance of those who reject the foundation of that same faith would be similar to attempting to become a zoologist by following a monkey around.
EWTN is a great source of solid Catholic doctrine and teaching as is Catholic Answers.
A great book about Spiritual Direction is Father Dubay’s, “Seeking Spiritual Direction.” If you encounter teachings that you have questions about, the best place is to check the Catechism. From there, I would lean on the Catholic Answers apologist line…
No, she’s not testing you. Sad to say, there are many nuns who have made the error she is making - they are spending all their time and energy being activists and social workers and leaving no time for their relationship with God. Both are important, and for you, the relationship with God is what’s important now. She is not going to be helpful to you at all. Can you simply not make any more appointments with her? If she asks why, you can thank her for her time and tell her that you just don’t think it’s going to work out right now. Then you continue your search for the right director. Start by praying for God to show you the person He has chosen for you. Then, when you start going to confession, see if you click with the priest. If not, try other priests until you find someone compatible and speak to him about direction.
God bless you. You’re doing the right thing, and you’re NOT too picky!
My first reaction on reading your comments is that RCIA and spiritual direction are two different things. There may be some overlap, especially when you’re having individual meetings to talk about your spiritual journey so far, but I wouldn’t consider your RCIA director to be your spiritual director. (And I say this as a student in a spiritual direction program as well as an RCIA director.) My second reaction is that this woman doesn’t sound like a good match for you as a possible spiritual director.
It sounds like you’re much more traditional than your RCIA director. That happens, and it can go the other way as well. Part of my take on RCIA is that I want to teach with the mind of the Church as well as I possibly can. When it comes to doctrine, I’m going to do my best to present what it is the Church actually teaches. In other places, though, there’s latitude and room for personal preferences. For example, one person may prefer the ordinary form of the Mass and another may prefer the extraordinary form. They’re both fine and neither is going against Church teaching. I wouldn’t try to talk you into one form or the other even if it was my preference because it’s an area where you can choose what’s most prayerful or nourishing for you. (On the other hand, if you had an attitude problem with people who prefer the other form, then that might be something to talk about.)
Maybe I am just to stubborn or Maybe I am expecting too much I feel more confused now like I went there kind of expecting to talk about what my concerns and questions are as far as where I am at in my jounrney and now I feel in my silent prayer I hear the Lord and know what He is teaching me and that what she is saying is opposite I am very confused my mother told me to stay away how is this possible she’s teaching the RCA I am sure she is very well meaning but I am left bewildered. I am very shy and have a hard time disagreeing with people so I guess I just internalize it when I should be honest and open how can I kindly say I don’t agree, what if I am wrong? Could she have been testing me? God Bless any advice is appreciated.
This sounds like more proof that she really isn’t your spiritual director. I’m assuming that you won’t have more meetings with her after your confirmation, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
Should you want to find a spiritual director later, I think you’ll find that the relationship is much different from what you’ve had with this woman. For example, you say that you wanted to talk about your concerns and questions and she led things in a different way. With a spiritual director, your concerns and questions would be at the center of your meeting. And you shouldn’t have to work up the courage to disagree with your spiritual director because her job is to support you in YOUR spiritual journey, not try to force her spirituality onto you. She might suggest that you broaden things a bit – perhaps see what you would think of a more contemporary author in addition to the kinds of reading you normally do – but it would be out of concern for you and deepening your spirituality, not in a sense that “if you don’t like to read what I read then you must be wrong.”
I learn more about myself weakness and strength, my relationship with others and with God - especially the courage to discern my vocation.
I just wanted to thank everyone, I should have explained better about the RCIA. I joined and before joining I was told that the teacher was also a spiritual director. I had asked about spiritual direction at the first class and she suggested we wait until after confirmation, but after class last week I just wanted to ask a few questions and she suggested we meet to talk. I feel badly now like I’ve talked behind her back. I know she is well intending I just don’t agree with her what he was saying her beliefs. I will continue to pray it seems sometimes like we know what the Lord is telling us then when we seek counsel from others it confuses things. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else. Thanks again God Bless N.Fabienne