Spiritual direction helps one become aware of God’s action in one’s life. This is done in a loving, open manner, with a spiritual director who gives support and feedback by being a listener and companion for your life’s journey. It is not counseling. Rather than asking, “What is wrong?” the director asks, “Where are you being led?” and “How is the love of God present in your life?”
Today more than ever the world is demanding our attention. The stress of living is high. It is often difficult to hear the gentle, loving voice of the Holy Spirit through the noise of the world. As Christians, we need help to tune in and amplify the voice of God. Spiritual direction is an excellent way to do this.
• Spiritual Direction gives support in understanding how God is working in one’s life.
• Spiritual Direction encourages that which is spiritual in a person and discourages that which is not.
• Spiritual Direction helps a person to become more integrated and whole as a person.
• Spiritual Direction leads to a deeper self-knowledge
Frequencies of visits vary with who you are and what is happening at any given time in your life. Some people come once a week, some every other week during the first visits. Later, once a month is the usual frequency.
Most Spiritual Direction sessions are one hour but could be more or less, depending on the matters the individual wishes to share.
• To spend time each day in personal prayer.
• To reflect on that prayer and to be open to sharing one’s prayer and faith journey.
• To meet regularly with your director for the time indicated.
• A desire to grow in one’s relationship with God or to understand that relationship in a new way.
• A need to discern the best choice for your life.
• A sense of a call from God to some form of prayer or service.
• A crisis of faith in which the old answers no longer work.
Most professionally trained spiritual directors charge a fee. The fee may range from $50.00 to $100.00 per hour, depending on the spiritual director. Most spiritual directors will waive or adjust the fee according to a person’s ability to pay.
Professionally trained spiritual directors are available at most retreat centers and in some parishes.
Click here for information about local retreat centers.
Professionally trained spiritual directors are often members of vowed religious communities and may be contacted through the headquarters of the religious community of men or women.
Some professionally trained spiritual directors operate independently and are not associated with a retreat center, parish or religious community.
When choosing a Catholic spiritual director, choose one who has been professionally trained in the Ignatian method at a Jesuit institution like Creighton University, Loyola University or the University of St. Louis; or one who as been professionally trained in the Franciscan method at an institution like the Franciscan Spirituality Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Some information on this page was adapted from a brochure published by the Campus Ministry Office at Saint Xavier University and is used with permission.
Sr. Beth Martin. “Finding the Ocean—A Guide to Spiritual Direction.”