The journey to God is not meant to be a solitary journey. As we walk this earthly path we walk in communion with others. Often God’s desires for us are made known through the wise guidance, support, and loving challenge of another person. Every faith tradition in the world has seeker-guide relationships. Jesus, who drew people into relationship, walked with them, and illuminated their lives with the startling truth of His Father’s Kingdom, is the template for all spiritual directors in the Christian tradition. This resource guide has been designed to help you to understand the nature of spiritual direction and to give you some practical tools to help you to get started in your search for a director.
Several members of the Gesu Parish Pastoral Team are trained spiritual directors.
Spiritual direction is meeting with a trained and experienced director to reflect on how God is present and active in your life right now, and how God might be calling you into deeper relationship. God is the Director; the human director serves as the vessel through which the Spirit works to uncover and discover the Divine at work in your everyday experiences. The content of the direction session is simply your life: whatever aspect, story, or experience you feel moved to bring to prayer and reflection. You the seeker, your director, and the Holy Spirit meet in holy conversation so “you may have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Above all, your spiritual director listens and helps you to come clear about the hints and guesses, the invitations, and the “nudgings” of the Spirit in your life. He/she helps you to be aware, to notice, to “wake up” to the spiritual relationship you have with God. Your director may help you with discernment, spiritual practices, methods of prayer, and at times suggest scripture and other spiritual reading that may enlighten your path. He/she is present as a compassionate, and respectful witness to the joys and sorrows of your journey. Together you pray for that “closer walk” with God. Prayer is part of your session and your director continues to hold you in prayer between sessions.
Spiritual direction is not psychotherapy, counseling, or any other type of therapy. It is not a dependent relationship in which your director holds all the wisdom and answers to your problems. Your director does not “tell you what to do”, but rather helps you to discern what God may be calling you to be or to do. God is already at work in your life. You come to your session ready to be still, and together with your director, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, to listen to the truths of your story as God reveals God’s self through the everyday happenings of your life.