Spiritual Direction is help given by a trained Spiritual Director (clergy or un-ordained) to another person through confidential, ongoing conversation. It is a relationship between the Director and the one being directed but also, it is an encounter with God that they participate in together. The purpose of the relationship is so that the one being directed might grow closer in their relationship with God. In short, it's an opportunity to let someone mentor you in developing a relationship with God.
Spiritual direction focuses on a relationship with God. It is not about solving problems or overcoming a psychological malady, as professional psychotherapy would address. Instead, spiritual direction focuses on the relationship one has with God and how the person sees or struggles with God in their everyday life. It is not therapy or coaching. It is not career counseling or rehabilitation services. It is however, a mentoring relationship where the director accompanies an individual through a process of developing a prayer life.
In that process, one might find answers to problems or dilemmas in their life, but the focus is not on those issues. The focus is on developing a relationship with God so that one feels God's presence in their life - developing a life of prayer (or better stated, communicating with God) and in being guided in learning to pray and on engaging in a spiritual journey to discover more about the divine is the prime focus.
Everyone needs a coach or a guide. Many of us try to pray, but simply don't know how to do it and don't know where to start. In looking at your own spiritual life, you might have questions about what any of this means! You might have never explored your own spiritual side. Or you might be going through a tough time and have begun to have doubts in your own faith life. A good spiritual director can accompany you through all of these instances and more.
It depends. Some folks have a regular monthly meeting with their director. Others are in a different stage and might meet more often. Some might meet a director once and then not meet again for some time. You can meet once a week, once a month, once a quarter, or whatever works for you and your director. Typically, an hour session, each month, at a mutually convenient location (or in online settings) where privacy can be assured is the norm. It is customary to offer a small stipend or donation for each meeting in appreciation for your companion's time (Standard rates vary but are roughly $35/hour on a sliding scale. Some directors wave their fee as part of their job requirements and others depend on their stipend as it is a major source of income for them or their religious community).
Feel free to reach out to Director of Young Adult Ministry, Mike Hayes with any questions and he will be happy to have a conversation with you and help you get matched up with a director with whom you would be comfortable.
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