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  • Writer's pictureMichael Orange

Why I should have a spiritual director…what???

Many people think it is only the religious who need spiritual directors to help them discern their call to a religious vocation. Well we can all use spiritual direction in our lives. A spiritual director helps you to hear the voice of God in your life.

The goal of spiritual direction, which has always been a part of the Christian tradition, is to help a person develop a deeper relationship with God and better discern the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives – in short, the goal is help a person become more holy. Is it really necessary to have a spiritual director, one might wonder, if you are already reading the Bible and Catechism, receiving the sacraments regularly, and surrounding yourself with God-fearing friends? While it’s not strictly necessary to have a spiritual director, the extra guidance and accountability are usually needed if one is to advance more quickly in their life with God, especially through deeper prayer. God has designed the human person to walk the path of holiness not in solitude but in the company of others.

Maybe you are going through a time of doubt in your faith which can be an alienating experience. Especially if it seems that everyone around you has a rock-solid faith life, you might be hesitant to talk to your family or friends about what you’re thinking. This is where a spiritual director can be extremely helpful: He or she can help you analyze your questions, and you don’t have to worry about it leading to arguments or tension the way it might with people in your personal life.

First, it’s important to understand that a spiritual director is not to be thought of as your personal oracle with some secret view of your future, who will be able to tell you exactly what to do in every particular circumstance. They are a companion who helps lead you to the voice of God within – they don’t necessarily know what He is saying to you. God is at all times the true Director. A good spiritual director is a guide who knows the teachings of the Church and always offers you advice through a faithful observance of them. They will help you, through reflection on the current events of your life, and through praying with you, to become more present to your own relationship with God and to the subtle ways in which He may nudging you. They might help you discern which spiritual practices are or methods of prayers are most helpful for you. Spiritual directors can be clergy or laypersons, and either male or female. The qualities that will ensure their ability to fulfill their role are a mature and well-informed faith and prayer life of their own and the ability to listen to, encourage, and challenge their spiritual charge to a greater awareness of God’s action and call in their life.

Many times we ask if I only knew how to hear God in my life. Or maybe you have asked yourself why doesn’t He answer me. The one that many if not all of us have asked ourselves internally….Why Lord! Why? I know I have…. We think we have to solve it ourselves yet our good and gracious God can put the right people in our paths to help us on our journey. One of those right people are spiritual directors.

Let me leave you with this thought. We are a community of faith and we are the church. Jesus didn’t create the church of separatism but of community. Remember we are one body in Christ. Romans 12:5. If you want to help deepen your faith then it is great to have a spiritual director to help you on that path. Pray about it, and if you want to explore this then reach out to Fr. Rick or myself and we can point you in the right direction.

May God bless you on your journey of faith!

Deacon Mike


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