On Spiritual Direction
There’s nothing complicated about spiritual direction, nor nothing mystifying about it. God comes to us as the Holy Spirit in order to actively guide us in a world that is constantly advertising and throwing up schemes and false road maps for how to live life and how to achieve goals it finds valuable. Our confusion in this day and age often comes from allowing a mixture of all these messages to come flooding in and to lose a sense of what is weighty and clearly true from that which is superfluous and a waste of time.
For his own reasons God created the church to act like a living body. Everyone in this body has been given spiritual gifts and abilities to be used for the good of others and the up building of the entire church. it’s not rocket science and it’s quite beautiful when it takes place. but oftentimes it does not take place when people are cut off from discovering those gifts and abilities which the Holy Spirit chose to give them before they were even born, and they feel an ongoing frustration and perhaps even a mild depression over the fact that they’re not exercising and using their giftedness.
Those men and women who are called to help others with spiritual direction our gifted by the Holy Spirit with the gift of discernment and also other first two spiritual gifts listed by Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians (chapter 12( which were the “word of wisdom. and the word of knowledge,.”
To avoid a more grandiose interpretation here let us just say that God gives certain people in His Body a clarifying spiritual perception (knowledge” as well as , sometimes, guidance in the correct application of His Truth or will to grow and nurture a person’s maturation.
Let me explain to you simply how it works first hand ( this is what I have learned to do). You create a quiet safe space where there is no judgment and where your fellow believer is totally at ease to explore and open up to the Holy Spirit without any fear. there is only the love and grace of God and the desire to explore what God has for that individual. there is no time table, there is no program, there is no workbook or set of expectations.
The responsibility really falls to the person leading the session of spiritual direction because what they have to do is open way up both to the person sitting in front of them in listening very intently and openly, while at the same time doing the same thing with the Holy Spirit. It is a dynamic process that is not something one can learn from a book, nor do I think it can actually be taught unless you have been gifted by the Holy Spirit. it’s more like accepting a calling and then getting out of the way when you have to employ that calling. that’s perhaps the first and only commandment for the person leading a spiritual discernment session, and that is
get yourself out of the equation .”
From there it is more like walking alongside a person in a friendly three-way conversation which is being led not by all of your training or even vast experience ( because all of that may be irrelevant in this particular case). The crucial part is all in the listening, in asking questions which come up in an open-ended fashion ( for this is an exploration) and then a time of prayer and processing what the two of you may have learned during your time.
The main focal point is always related to Christ in some way and how we are following Him but not in a programmatic way so much as in a relational way – thus there is no fear for His love for us is so well and overwhelmingly established. Jesus wants you to have direction in your life with him and as you open up to that direction He wants to reveal that to you via His Holy Spirit and He will.
We use these 1 hour ( and they can go over occasionally) sessions to open up and explore with God the direction of your life and how it’s grounded in Christ and where it’s headed in Christ and that of course affects every other area of your life for there is no separation between the sacred and the secular All Is One Life.
if you have questions about any of this, or if some aspect of it doesn’t make sense or needs further clarification please feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org,