What Is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual Direction Is an Invitation

Gød is inviting you into something deeper. Spiritual direction is the space of prayerful, reflective stillness where we notice those invitations—made personally to you in the place where you are today—and how you might respond. We do this through conversation, through listening and sometimes through periods of silence, to allow the Holy Spirit to emerge as the one sets the direction of your personal, spiritual growth.
Spiritual direction carries three main convictions:

1. God is already at work.

Long before the spiritual direction process begins, Gød’s always been at work—even if you’ve never stepped inside a church, even if after 60 years Gød seems to have vanished. The goal of spiritual direction isn’t to jumpstart the work of Gød in your life—it’s to better notice where Gød is present in the place where you are and how you might nurture it.

2. God is self-communicating.

God is personal. So Gød communicates compassionately with us, speaking into the place where we are, whether we’re listening or not. And when Gød communicates, Gød also communicates Gød’s very self to be present with us—the way I might give my whole self to you by saying, “I love you.”

3. God loves you well and deeply.

Both words are important here. It’s one thing to be loved deeply but in ways that don’t resonate with who we are. It’s one thing to be loved well but in a casual or careful way. But being loved by one well and deeply is to be specially cared for by one who knows you (good, bad and upside down), knows how you’re best-loved, and acts on it in every way that’s for you.

What Does Spiritual Direction Look Like?

Conversations with a spiritual director usually last about an hour and occur usually about once a month—though that’s that the norm, not the rule.

A spiritual director will ask questions. You don’t have to have answers. There will be silence, and that’s OK; a lot can happen in silence.  There may be gentle observations; a spiritual director will help you notice things in the conversation. There won’t be very much instruction or advice-giving or, for that matter, levitating. It may simply look like the most intent, focused, one-sided conversation you’ve ever had with a friend, because that’s who your spiritual director is.

Who Is a Spiritual Director?

Spiritual directors are sometimes called a “spiritual friend” or a “soul companion.” They’re not always priests (though they can be); they’re not always wizened old men and women (though they can be); they’re not always professionals (though they can be). Whatever they are in fact, they are in spirit laymen, fellow travelers and amateurs in the truest sense (literally, “one who loves”). The spiritual director is invited to come alongside you, lovingly and attentively, to help witness your unique one-on-one relationship with Gød. They’re the third wheel; direction is all about you and Gød.

One of the richest metaphors we can use for spiritual direction is that of midwifery. The role of the spiritual director is to support and encourage you, to be your advocate and your coach, through the travail of labor and in the joy of birth. Remember “Gød is already at work”? The spiritual director doesn’t initiate the pregnancy; the Holy Spirit does. The spiritual director doesn’t deliver the baby; you do. What Gød has begun in you—and even as you read this is developing in you—will come to term on its own, by nature, by design. A spiritual director holds your hand, ensures that you’re safe, helps you to push through the breaths, reminds you how well you’re doing and stays by your side as long as you need it.

How Do I Begin Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction always starts with a conversation. If you’re interested in spiritual direction or have questions, just reach out. I’d truly love to hear from you.

At this time, spiritual direction conversations can be set with me locally in Cleveland, Ohio, or distance by video conferencing, Monday through Thursday evenings after 6pm (Eastern) or on weekends.