Spiritual Directors

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the process of spiritual direction

Peer Supervision

what is a spiritual director & how do I find one?

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residential program 2018

information sheet 2018

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The Director

Spiritual directors may be found among persons of many denominations, laity, clergy and persons in religious communities. They may be married or single and may seek their livelihood in a variety of occupations. What is paramount is that the director is responding to an invitation from God to participate in this ministry; that the gift of direction has been called forth by others; and that the director has sought to enhance the gift and sharpen skills through means appropriate to her or his particular needs.

The primary responsibilities of the director are deep listening to the directee and an openness to God for what is truly called for during the sessions. This assumes that the director is taking seriously his/her relationship with God through intentional prayer, attention to solitude time and regular spiritual direction.

Further, as a means of accountability in this ministry and growth as a director, directors should avail themselves of supervision in a one-to-one or group setting with other directors. Whatever way this supervision happens, confidentiality must be observed and anonymity of directees must be preserved.

So Spiritual Direction is the gift of being with others on their journey with God.

It is not crisis counselling or pastoral care or "problem solving" although these ministries are part of a person's experience from time to time. In the main, it is being a "soul friend" to others as the old Irish phrase has it.

In a society where values are characterised by instant and shallow answers, the ministry of spiritual direction primarily involves deep listening and attention to another as he or she explores the mystery of their life with God. It is a ministry that gives dignity and encouragement to our search.

Like all ministry in the Church, one must first be called to it and then try to develop it. Many have been spiritual directors to others without knowing it - the chance word, the readiness to listen and the gift of time given to another without payment are all ways in which we have practised this ministry.

A director is one with whom we can talk with ease and trust about the elusive mystery of God. A director is not a specialist, still less a guru, but first and foremost a friend in the ways of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a Director

It is important to pray about finding a spiritual director, asking God to guide your search and to open your eyes to the possibilities available to you. Accompanying this prayer can be the exploration of avenues already known to you for persons whose spirituality speaks to you though they may not name themselves or be recognised as "qualified" spiritual directors. Such persons may be found among parish staff, persons with whom you have shared small groups, or others who seem to attract you for reasons unclear to you.

If no one rises from these more natural settings, then you might check out nearby retreat houses or religious communities. It will probably take some time to find the right person for you.

However, if God is working through your desire for a director, then it is safe to assume that the Spirit will eventually provide the resources you need. The key is to remain patient yet diligent in the waiting, to trust God in the process, being attentive to the direction of the Spirit in all of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing a Director

In a direction relationship, it is important for there to be a mutual sense of longing for open, honest, clear communication and a reverance for the unique way God is working in the individuals involved. Coupled with this is a mutual dependence upon the Spirit at work in the relationship, It is only necessary that the two persons experience the kind of "fitness" that allows them to be free for their common purpose together without undue attention to their relationship.

It is helpful to set up five or six meetings and then evaluate how things are going. After that, periodic evaluations are encouraged so that what was begun as a right thing does not continue past its time.