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Ignatian Spiritual Direction

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"For I am the vine you are the branches" (John 15:5)

We are called to help each other bear much fruit.

Spiritual Direction focuses on one's relationship with God and prayer.

"(Ignatian Spiritual Direction) addresses what is in one’s daily life as one prays their way through life’s complex decisions and interpretations of their spiritual experiences in those everyday life's circumstances."

Joseph Tetlow, SJ

Spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition services the whole person holding the balance at the threshold between prayer and everyday life. It is by prayer and self-examination that brings forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit through the grace of God's gifting for us to discern the good we are to do, and in growing in holiness. Spiritual direction helps one interpret the dynamic interplay of the head, heart, and hands.

 

What we think, is what we do and feel

What we feel, is what we think and do

What we do, is what we think and feel

 “Since the God we seek is a busy God, we cannot let our interior life and prayer float above our daily life in our lifeworld. Our spiritual life roots in an experience of God freeing us from our sin so that we can present our bodies and everything we experience in a day, lifelong as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is our spiritual worship…"

Joseph Tetlow, SJ

 

Who comes to Spiritual Direction?

People experiencing a faith transition, loss, changes in self-perception, challenges within the normal flow of life, life transitions, changes in careers; or a yearning for God, to deepen their prayer life, to understand more of their interior life, to discover more deeply their unique relationship with Christ, and or finding God’s desire for their life.

 

In looking for God, we often find ourselves

Who we are

Whose we are 

Who we are called to be and do

( St. Ignatius' Principle and Foundation SE 23)

Letting God Mold Us

“Few people understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves wholly into God’s hands and if they were to allow God’s grace to mold them.”  

St. Ignatius

How does Ignatian Spiritual Direction help?

Ignatian Spiritual Direction helps one discern their own way to find what God desires for them to become and what is the best action to take. An Ignatian director supports "the whole person in prayerfully discerning the next good thing as they seek "to find God in all things." This is the process called discernment is coming to decision after prayerful attention to the heart, head, and hand on what will bring an increase of faith, hope, and love.

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What does a Catholic spiritual director do?

A Catholic spiritual director helps the directee/retreatant to notice the presence and call of God in the circumstances of their everyday life and to help find the words for talking about those encounters which deepen the experience of being in a relationship with one’s Creator.  The director also guides one in sorting out the various interior ‘voices’ within and around them for discerning God’s will.

What is the Role of a Spiritual Director?

Instructive

Directive

Contemplative

It is to:

  • help one notice areas in their prayer life they may have overlooked

  • offer practical considerations such as helping one organize time

  • share different methods of engaging from the Church’s tradition

  • teach about the discerning of spirits

  • help on how to listen for those prompts, where they are coming from (Holy Spirit, self, or the ‘enemy or bad spirits’)

  • support one to notice and sort out distractions or attachments

  • affirm how one is proceeding  

At times spiritual direction sessions may enter into the other forms of spiritual companionship in order to assist the directee in finding God’s call in their life. Depending upon the circumstance the (human) spiritual director may accompany the directee as a spiritual counselor,  a companion, a facilitator, a coach, a teacher, a mentor, and always as a holy listener; for it is the Holy Spirit who is the Spiritual Director.

What is Ignatian Spirituality?