Spiritual Direction: A Foundational Component of Discernment
What are some reasons to start spiritual direction?
To discern one's vocation in life
To discuss a major life change/event
To navigate one's involvement in ministry
To deepen one's relationship with God and the Church
To learn how to pray
What keeps people from spiritual direction?
"When someone is awakened to the need for spiritual direction, there can arise a false and fearful reasoning that inhibits receptivity to the gift of spiritual direction: What will I say? What should I talk about in direction? Could spiritual direction be that important, if I don't know exactly what to bring? I'll wait until I have something more pressing to consider. Then, I won't be wasting anybody's time."
What is spiritual direction?
"In the contemplative model of spiritual direction, a monthly hour of direction is another occasion of prayer. It's not a coaching session. It's not a 'check-up' for faith-based mentoring. It is not simply an inventory of spiritual activities and our thoughts about them. The director is given the opportunity to pray with you and listen with you to what God is doing. Just as one does not plan prayer, one cannot plan direction. Direction is meant to be received like the gift of prayer. Trustful surrender becomes the posture for prayer and spiritual direction."
(The above is taken & adapted from Have I Been With You: Personal Prayer for Young Disciples, Rev. Paul C Hoesing)
What does spiritual direction look like once/if I become a seminarian?
All seminarians are expected to have a spiritual director assigned by the seminary during their formation in seminary. Read more about the role of spiritual director in seminary.
How do I find a spiritual director?
Suggested places to begin your search for a spiritual director, or a referral to one, would be your parish Priest or Parish Life Coordinator, Deacon, High School or College Chaplain or Campus Minister, Pastoral Associate, Director of Adult Faith Formation or Catholic retreat houses in your area.
The Office of Worship has a process to help those seeking spiritual direction (seekers). Seekers should send an email to the Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their emails are then forwarded to a Discernment Companion. A Discernment Companions assist people looking for trained/formed Catholic spiritual directors by providing a referral service.
Feel free to contact the Vocations Office if you have any questions, need help choosing a spiritual director, or want to know more about what to expect.
Read the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Guidelines for Spiritual Direction