What to Expect from Spiritual Direction

What should someone expect from spiritual direction? Becky Eldredge explains that the conversations in spiritual direction help a person identify where God is and what God’s invitation is. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video What to Expect from Spiritual Direction.

In Praise of Spiritual Direction

A friend of mine recently told me how much he had benefited from working with a spiritual director.  He thanked me for suggesting he do it. I don’t remember when I made that suggestion, but that’s not surprising.  I recommend spiritual direction to many of my friends. So thought I would do it here.  Spiritual direction has done me a lot of good, and I know many people who say the same thing.  Spiritual direction […]

Protestants and Spiritual Direction

The Christian Century looks at the growing popularity of spiritual direction among mainline Protestants, especially pastors: More and more pastors have made spiritual direction a central part of their ministries. The spirituality shaped by spiritual direction might be of special importance to pastors, Reed observes, because the demands of ministry are such that pastors often function out of a “false self.” They may put on masks to hide their true struggles and opinions rather than […]

The Prayer of Imagination

Ruth Workman, a spiritual director,  describes how Ignatian prayer invigorated her prayer life: Next we were introduced to an Ignatian practice, a prayer of imagination. I was asked to read the passage where Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” I was then told to engage my senses. What did I see in that scene? How did it smell? What sounds did I hear? Were there any taste or touch sensations? I was […]

Spiritual Directors Who Direct

Joseph Tetlow, SJ, is one of the of the most respected and knowledgeable Ignatian spiritual directors.   For years he guided the 250 Jesuit retreat houses around the world in his capacity as head of the Jesuit General’s Secretariat for Ignatian Spirituality. So when Fr. Tetlow says something unusual about spiritual direction, it’s a good idea to listen. What he says is that spiritual directors sometimes direct. You don’t hear that very often.  Many spiritual directors […]

“I want, I want”

Susan Stabile, an Ignatian spiritual director and law professor, distinguishes between the desire that causes pain and the desire that motivates us: Attachment (what might be called disordered desire) always feels tumultuous, unsettling and lacking in peace. Deep desire has an element of peace in it and it pulls us generally forward rather than roiling uncontrollably. And they are very different in their effects: Clinging and attachment incapacitate, deep desire energizes. Clinging and attachment lead […]

Spiritual Direction

I’d like to respond to Autumn’s comment to my earlier post about living the “examen”ed life. She asks about what to do when it is difficult to find a spiritual director. Since she raises an important question I thought it more helpful to dedicate a new post to it, rather than bury my response below hers. So, Autumn, thanks for your question. I hope many people have the same problem you do. I don’t mean […]

True Religion

Fear is the root of evil in the world, writes William Barry, SJ, in his book Spiritual Direction and the Encounter with God. Thus, real religion must have a real answer to fear.  He quotes this wonderful aphorism from the theologian John Macmurray: The maxim of illusory religion runs: “‘Fear not; trust in God and he will see that none of the things you fear will happen to you;” that of real religion, on the […]

Three Types of People Revisited

One of the central exercises in the Spiritual Exercises is the meditation on “three types of people.” It invites us to give a long, searching look at how free we really are. It’s designed to help us achieve greater freedom by detaching ourselves from desires that entangle us. Lisa Kelly, an Ignatian Associate and blogger, has a perceptive comment on “three types of people:” I think we are misled though by Ignatius naming these people […]

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