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Spiritual Direction Services at the Pastoral Solutions Institute
No matter where you are in your spiritual life, the Pastoral Solutions Institute can help you draw closer to God and help you become more of the person God created you to be. Have some questions about how spiritual direction could help you? Check out our Spiritual Direction FAQ below!
What is spiritual direction?
The purpose of spiritual direction is to enable you to listen and respond more effectively to God’s personal communication in your life. This, in turn, cultivates the interior spiritual life where you meet the Holy Spirit one-on-one and true transformation takes place. The ultimate goal of spiritual direction is to deepen your intimacy with Jesus Christ and to help you live the Christian life more effectively. It is about helping you place your life more fully under the dominion of the Holy Spirit who is the primary spiritual director.
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Spiritual Direction FAQs
The Pastoral Solutions Institute’s spiritual direction program exists to assist you in your conversation with God. Your spiritual director will help you be more attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and encourage your progress in the spiritual life, A good spiritual director is careful not to come between you and God. Instead, the director plays a supportive role in your relationship with God by encouraging you to engage in a process of ongoing spiritual growth that is grounded in an active parish life, supported by a commitment to prayer in its many forms, enlivened by the reading and study of Scripture, deepened through ongoing catechetical formation, and nourished through frequent use of the sacraments—especially Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
Absolutely. In fact, telephone-based spiritual direction helps facilitate a major goal of spiritual direction. Namely, that the spiritual director should be as little a distraction as possible so that you can become more aware of the presence of God in your session rather than the presence of the director in the session.
The Church has long recognized that living the faith is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Just as there are a number of schools of spirituality within the Catholic tradition, there are a number of valid approaches to spiritual direction. The key is choosing one that best empowers you to discover the unique relationship God desires with you.
In your sessions, your spiritual director will adopt a contemplative posture; listening to both you and God. As your director prayerfully attends to your time together, he will help you be attentive to and “stay with” the movements of God within the depths of your soul. In this experience, you will discover a safe harbor from which to explore and develop more particular spiritualties such as Marian, Ignatian, Carmelite, Dominican and Franciscan. As you progress in your work, your spiritual director will help you discover the spiritual model that is best suited to the work God is doing in your life.
Absolutely not. All you need is a desire to take your spiritual life more seriously. To this end, in addition to facilitating your ongoing conversation with God and looking at ways to deepen your spiritual life, your spiritual director will help you get more out of basic spiritual practices such as regular church attendance, participation in the sacraments, and a day-to-day prayer life. Beyond these things, to get the full benefit of spiritual direction, the only other things you’ll need is a willingness to meet regularly with your director, and a sincere desire both for greater union with God and openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
Your relationship with God is sacred and personal. As such you will always have the right to make the final decision about how that relationship should unfold. Your spiritual director will certainly offer suggestions he prayerfully feels would be helpful for deepening your relationship with God but he will never tell you what to do. It is your spiritual director’s job to ask you questions that help him understand where you are at in your spiritual journey and give you the tools to discover the best way forward. Good spiritual direction respects your free will just as God does.
There is no strict timetable for spiritual direction though it should be regular. After the initial spiritual assessment period, where your director helps you take stock of your spiritual journey thus far, you and your director will decide on the frequency that best serves you and your goals. However often you decide to meet (monthly at minimum), it will be important to be faithful to your time together. Your commitment builds a relationship of trust between you and your spiritual director so that,together, you may be more responsive to ways God is working in both of you.
Spiritual direction can certainly be a healing process. But though spiritual direction can be a helpful part of recovery from emotional problems or relational conflict, the primary goal of spiritual direction is not recovery from problems so much as it is deepening your relationship with God, attending to God’s will more effectively, and being more confident in the ways God is working in and through you in your present circumstances.
Beyond this, where counseling is more directive, focused on teaching techniques, building skills and concentrated on resolving problems, spiritual direction is most interested in helping you develop the quiet place in your heart where you can encounter God more personally and receive whatever blessings and graces he wishes to share with you.
Yes. Any disclosure that a directee makes during the sessions is strictly confidential. The director may never reveal it or use it. The only possible exception to this standard of confidentiality would be the case of grave, immediate, or mortal danger involving the directee or another person.
No. All Christians are welcome. While the Pastoral Solutions Institute spiritual direction program is deeply rooted within the Catholic tradition, the directee need not be Catholic. Accommodation can be made to direct the directee from a more general Christian approach.
Depending on their particular circumstances and needs, a directee/client will often choose either spiritual direction or counseling. Even so, there is nothing that would prevent you from experiencing the benefits of both as they are intended to be complementary to each other.
Along these lines, it may also be the case that, in the course of spiritual direction, a director may make a referral to counseling or, in the course of counseling, a counselor may make a referral to spiritual direction. In such an event, you would be free to work with a director or counselor of your choosing—whether or not they were associated with the Pastoral Solutions Institute. That said, Pastoral Solutions Institute therapists and spiritual directors are part of the same team. We learn from each other, value each other’s input, and work together closely to help our clients achieve their goals in the most efficient way possible.