I have worked with a spiritual director for eleven years. My directors have included two religious sisters, two lay men, and currently, a lay woman. One of the greatest gifts on my spiritual journey has been having a “holy listener” in my life who helps me to fully understand and see God at work in my life. These men and women help me to hear and discern what God is asking of me and to be aware of what God is asking me to pay attention to in my life. I know that I am where I am today in my faith life because of their companionship and encouragement to continue to listen for and to look for God at work in my life. Their gift of journeying with me helped me deepen my awareness of God who is everywhere.
Now, I am on the other side, meeting with my own directees as part of my Certificate in Spiritual Direction program. As I sit on the side of being the “holy listener”, I am even more in awe at the gift my spiritual directors have been to me. What a challenge to sit and listen to another in a way that does not interfere with another’s on faith life! At the same time, it is a gift to sit across from some one and listen to the sacred story of their lives.
If you have never met with a spiritual director, I encourage you to consider it. Often priests and religious brothers and sisters offer spiritual direction. Many lay men and woman, too, are trained as spiritual directors through programs at retreat houses and universities as well. A few tips on finding a spiritual director:
- Ask around and let people know you are looking for one.
- Look for religious orders in your area. Often, they have people assigned to the ministry of spiritual direction.
- Finally, check out Spiritual Director’s International Seek and Find Guide. Here, you can search online for your city, state, spiritual affiliation, etc.
As always, if you have questions about finding a spiritual director, ask away!