Spiritual Direction is a covenant relationship in which one Christian assists another or others in the discernment of God's presence and the contemplative living out of God's call. Spiritual direction is a regular one-to-one or small group conversation in which you are guided to reflect more deeply on your spiritual life, on your relationship to God and on the presence of the Holy in your everyday life.
Historically, spiritual direction has developed and been practiced within the Roman Catholic and Anglican monastic communities. In more recent years, Catholic lay persons and Christians from a variety of other denominations have come to embrace the practice of spiritual direction.
Both pastoral counseling and spiritual direction assist people in growth toward personal, social and spiritual wholeness—but the focus of spiritual direction is on helping you pay attention and respond to the presence and experience of God within your life. While in pastoral counseling a client and pastoral counselor may meet once a week, people engaged in spiritual direction usually meet with a spiritual director once a month. Pastoral counseling draws upon the resources of psychotherapeutic methods and personality theory, while spiritual direction tends to draw upon the resources of prayer, contemplation and spiritual disciplines.
What you can expect from Spiritual Direction?
- A deeper and richer personal spirituality
- A greater sensitivity to and awareness of the presence of God in your life
- A clearer sense of what God is calling you to do and be
- A sense of the spiritual practices that best help you be responsive to God
- A familiarity with the variety of spiritual practices designed to enrich your spiritual journey, such as "centering prayer"
- An experience of the value of contemplative prayer as a both a spiritual practice and health enhancement
- A greater energy and vitality for your ministry/work
- A greater sense of purpose and direction in your life
Normally spiritual directors meet with their "directees" on a monthly basis, guide them through various spiritual exercises (prayer, meditation, readings), designed to help the directee discern more carefully God's leading in their life and become more fully aware of God's presence in their lives.
Like other professional services, spiritual directors normally charge a fee for their services/time and usually function on an appointment basis. The SFTS vouchers cover Spiritual Direction.
As with all professional services, the content of and nature of your spiritual direction work is kept in strictest confidence, and only released to other professionals with your written permission.