Spiritual Direction has to do with a person’s actual relationship with God. It is an interpersonal relationship in which a person learns how to grow, live, and love in their spiritual life.
The spiritual director helps the directee to come to a deeper relationship with God. This is done through the person who is being directed telling stories of their relationship with God and then being helped to develop these stories in relationship to their understanding of God.
While it is accepted that the true spiritual director is God, the spiritual director has a special relationship with the directee which through direction leads to a deeper experience of faith between the directee and God.
It can best be described as a process whereby one person helps another person to understand what God is doing and saying to them in their life.
It must however be understood that spiritual direction is not counselling, nor is it therapy instead it is a one-to-one meeting between two people in a private place centred on the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding one of them in their understanding of God in his/her life.
Most spiritual directors are people who have undergone formal courses on the ministry of spiritual direction. They are people who are mature in their faith who are sure of their relation to God.
The Christian spiritual director is a well-trained listener who accompanies you on your spiritual journey, helping you to be aware of God’s presence, as well as your personal reactions and responses to this.
The spiritual director does not “direct” in the sense of giving advice and solving problems. Rather, the director helps a person respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship.
Spiritual direction is there to help you to grow in prayer and your understanding of your calling as a disciple of Christ.
My manner of spiritual direction is that of formal direction in which the director develops a relationship with the directee where there is a clear separation between the roles between spiritual director and spiritual directee. Meetings are usually scheduled in advance on a regular basis, and a spiritual directee normally has only one director.
I like to keep the sessions to about an hour and like to see the directee once a month.
Spiritual direction is “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction)
“We define Christian spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.”
William A. Barry, SJ and William J. Connolly, SJ, Center for Religous Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA