Friday, June 04, 2010

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is a very important aspect of growing in our spiritual life.  It is a great gift to receive because spiritual directors are hard to come by.  I met with my spiritual director today.  It helps that he is also a Carmelite.  Not that he has to be one but it is a big help to discuss matters which are common to both of us such as prayer life, community life and ministry, and to be able to offer advice according to our Carmelite way of life and spirituality.    It is a misconception to think that a spiritual director has to be a priest.  Anyone with sufficient maturity, experience and spirituality can guide souls in their journey.  St. Teresa of Avila recommends that director be learned and experienced.  But when pushed to choose, the Saint would prefer learning to experience.  She means in this that a sound theological foundation in a director is very important in the guidance of souls.  The devil can disguise himself under the color of good and when the temptations get to be so subtle, a "learned" director should be able to fall back on sound doctrine to give an advice.  Experience is also important because often times a lesson is driven by deriving points of reference from one's experience.  It also helps in sympathizing with others and understanding better the struggles of others.  It is very hard to find a spiritual director according to the standards of St. Teresa, but not impossible to find them.  I,  for one prefers a priest,  because he also serves as my confessor.  Ask God for a really good spiritual director to come your way.  It is a great help in our journey in the spiritual life.  Even though God can impart his grace without the help of a human being, he does not often do so.  God has entered our world and time zone through the Incarnation, and more often than not uses people to show us the way.

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