Many people, at a certain stage in their life, feel the need to seek spiritual guidance. While some may not know precisely what they are looking for, or where to find it, they know they are being drawn to set out on this journey. Spiritual direction can be the map that provides the pathway to take the pilgrim on their way.
What is spiritual direction?
In the early days of the Christian Church, people sought out the Desert Fathers and Mothers to help them deepen their individual relationship with God. That is where the ministry of spiritual direction was founded. Sometimes known as spiritual accompaniment or soul friendship, it is a relationship of trust with someone who is trained to listen and reflect with you about your own spiritual journey, your prayer life, and your relationship with God.
The spiritual director is not there to tell you what to do. God is your director. The spiritual director’s role is to support and affirm your unique walk with God and to help you explore how you might become more open to the movements of the Spirit.
Spiritual direction is the contemplative practice of helping another person to awaken to the mystery called God in all of life, and to respond to the discovery in a growing relationship of freedom and commitment.
What can I talk about?
We all need friends with whom we can speak of our deepest concerns, and who do not fear to speak the truth in love to us.
Spiritual direction will always begin with where you are, aiming to help you integrate your spirituality with the rest of your life.
The director’s responsibility is to provide you with a safe, confidential, sacred space where you can bring your whole self, where you will be accepted and listened to, without judgment or any sense of expectation.
There are many areas where spiritual direction offers the chance to explore, such as:
- Making sense of the gap between your life experience and prayer
- Exploring new ways of praying or worship
- Seeking a sense of being called to something more and taking stock of where God is leading you at times of change and transition
- Helping you make sense of what is happening in your life
- Working through a specific spiritual issue
- Offering a place of enquiry where you can deepen your personal awareness of yourself and others
Anything that impacts on your relationship with God can be brought to your spiritual direction conversations. What is required of you is to be honest about this relationship.
Spiritual direction is for everyone seeking to deepen their relationship with God and strengthen their spiritual practice, not just for clergy and members of religious orders.
Who to contact
If you are looking for a spiritual director, find out more here.
You can also contact Charmain Gilmour, Ministry Training Team Administrator.