God and Creator of my soul, I feel lonely. I want another person to talk to, someone who understands the struggle it is to pray sometimes, someone who values what I value: faith and true virtue and holy work to heal the world. I am weary of hearing only my voice and contemplating only my thoughts about you. If another person could hear my thoughts and then speak to them, that would be a lovely, […]
There is nothing more beautiful than listening for God through spiritual direction. I understand this gift both from sitting in a chair as a spiritual director and as the one sitting in the directee’s chair, being listened to by the holy listener sitting across from me. Sitting in both chairs increases my faith and deepens my relationship with God. What is spiritual direction? This is a question people ask me often. Spiritual direction is holy […]
Spiritual directors William A. Barry, SJ, and Bernadette Miles discuss Ignatian spirituality, understandings of Jesus, and spiritual direction in this nine-minute video from Spiritual Directors International. Barry is the author of multiple books on Ignatian spirituality, including A Friendship Like No Other and Changed Heart, Changed World.
Writing for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality of the Maryland and USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus, Lisa Hastings states: Despite its historical roots and the popularity of Ignatian spirituality today, spiritual direction for many remains mysterious, even intimidating. Some assume that it is reserved for the “spiritually mature.” On the contrary, spiritual direction is an accessible means, much like the Ignatian examen, of noticing God movement in one’s life. Also like the […]
Joseph Tetlow, SJ, is one of the Jesuits’ leading authorities on spiritual direction. For years he worked in Rome as head of the Society’s Secretariat for Ignatian Spirituality. In this video he talks about Ignatian prayer and why someone might want to have a spiritual director. Tetlow says, “Prayer is as natural to us as breathing is. We don’t have to be taught how to pray. We have only to be invited to start praying […]
One resource for personal development that grows straight out of Ignatian spirituality is spiritual direction. A spiritual director walks alongside a person as a spiritual companion and, somewhat, as a guide. “Director” is a bit misleading, because a true spiritual director does not give much direction in terms of suggesting what a person should do or telling her if she is right or wrong or otherwise. A spiritual director is not a teacher, not a […]
We mention spiritual direction from time to time here on dotMagis as a valuable tool in spiritual growth, but if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you might wonder what to talk about during a spiritual direction session. Russell Shaw writes: Think of it as a conversation between friends. But, you may ask, a conversation about what? There are lots of possibilities, but topics that typically arise include establishing and maintaining a plan of life—a program […]
In the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius invites us to consider the Trinity gazing down upon the Earth. They notice us, our world, our joys, our sorrows, our hope, and our tears. They see the brokenness and the goodness of the world. They decide that God will be made flesh and encounter us in human form. This is the Incarnation—Jesus entering our life world and becoming flesh. Jesus still enters our life world today. As a […]
Philip Shano, SJ, reflects on the similarities between a personal trainer and a spiritual director. We are sometimes half asleep, almost in a slumber—whether with our physical or spiritual exercise. I find that Christian helps wake me up, at least when I am at Goodlife. Part of the gift of a spiritual director is that he or she can wake me up spiritually. Just the fact that I’m meeting with her will make me more […]
Loyola University Campus Minister April Gutierrez shares a brief description of spiritual direction.