How to Find a Spiritual Director
One of the basics we most highly recommend for anyone discerning their future vocation, and really for anyone who wants to deepen their spiritual life, is the practice of regular spiritual direction. Because we are often too close to our own situation to be able to see clearly and objectively, it is indispensable to have a wise spiritual elder who can guide and counsel us and give insight and unbiased advice. The spiritual director’s role is to help you to discover God’s will in your life and to help you grow in holiness so you can know, love and follow Jesus more fully.
I recommend trying to find a priest or religious for direction, though it may possible to find a good spiritual director who is a layperson. A spiritual director should not be just anyone, or even any priest or religious, but someone with special training and qualities. They should be prudent, practical, and knowledgeable about the Catholic faith and spiritual life, balanced, and an excellent listener, someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
As you can imagine, finding a person with these qualities and competence may not be easy and you can expect that the search probably will require some time and effort. You might consider the following suggestions:
- Ask for recommendations from people you know, from your parish priest or other priests, from friends or fellow worshippers in whose manner of life you have confidence. These may be able to either to refer you to someone or give you a lead in the right direction.
- Call the main office of your local diocese, as they often have a list of those in the area who have received training to be a spiritual director.
- Contact retreat houses, monasteries, or religious orders near you for a recommendation. Offering spiritual direction in frequently a part of their ministry.
Keep in mind that you may have to meet with more than one person before you find the right person for you. Most importantly, keep praying! The very fact that you want to deepen your spiritual life and seek God’s will is already a great grace. You can be sure that God will help you in your search.
Anyway, that is what I think. But what do you think?