“The spiritual director is concerned
with the whole person…

A spiritual director is, then, one who helps another
to recognize and to follow the inspirations
of [the Divine] in their life.”

—Thomas Merton

Do you…

…have questions or doubts that you would like to talk to someone about without feeling judged or criticized?
…yearn for a deeper relationship with the Divine but realize what used to work for you no longer does?
…wonder where God is in your life because of disappointments, grief, fears and hurts that you have experienced?
…sometimes wonder about the purpose of your life, what gives your life meaning and direction?
…want to nurture your spiritual life whether you are part of a religious tradition or not?

If so, you might consider spiritual direction.

What is spiritual direction?
Sometimes it is helpful to start with what something is not before trying to describe what it is. Despite the title, “spiritual direction” is not an experience where someone will tell you to whom you should pray, how you should pray, when you should pray or what you should believe. If you encounter someone who tries to impose these sorts of things, your best response would be to run.

Spiritual direction is the opportunity to meet with someone who has been trained to listen deeply, with compassion, without judgement and to accept a person wherever she/he is in life. The direction comes through that listening.

The foundational belief in spiritual direction is that God, the Source of all that is, the Ground of our being is present with us in every situation of our lives – the good, the horrific, the mundane and everything in-between. A spiritual director is someone who can help you “take a long, loving look” at what is real in your life and to catch glimpses of God’s presence and invitations. It is through these glimpses that a person gleans direction.

As the quote from Thomas Merton asserts, spiritual direction is not only about your prayer life, what you read in the Scriptures, experiences you have at church or in a prayer group; but, about everything that makes you who you are. You may come to spiritual direction and talk about “spiritual” topics. You may also share with the spiritual director what is happening within your family, at work, with friends, what you do for fun, what you are struggling with and what your successes are. She/he will listen, ask questions, check out assumptions and then listen some more. All in the hope of helping you to “recognize and to follow the inspirations of [the Divine] in your life.”

What makes a spiritual director a spiritual director?

A spiritual director may be:

  • a woman or a man
  • young or old
  • Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Jewish, Buddhist or…
  • black white, brown, red or…
  • a layperson, sister, priest and…
  • many other things

Spiritual directors will:

  • have undergone formation as a spiritual director
  • tend to their own spiritual life through prayer, other spiritual practices and receiving spiritual direction for themselves
  • continue their formation as a spiritual director via ongoing education and supervision
  • adhere to an ethical code

If you would like to find a spiritual director, please click here.