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Sister Judy Nielsen, OSF

Spiritual Direction in the Franciscan Tradition

Franciscan Community of Divine Mercy

My Blog


How does Spiritual Direction Help?

Posted on 30 May, 2012 at 2:04
Have you ever thought that you just don't "get it" when it comes to God?
You are not alone.  Many people think something like this:  "I've heard about spiritual direction but spiritual directors are only for Church people who have titles and collars. I am an ordinary person."   That's common thinking but it keeps you away from the help you need. 
The reality of being human in today's world is also about having those moments when you find yourself wondering if there is a way to find a deeper connection with God and keep up with a busy life.  At some point in our lives most of us will find ourselves in a spot that feels empty and full of struggle.  We all need a connection that gives us the spiritual tools to reconnect and know that "God is with us".  One of those tools is spiritual direction.
The world is a big place.  It is easy to feel that it's spinning out of control. That's when we come up with those big questions like "where is God in this?"  That makes us human.  It can make us feel alone with our worries and concerns.  We need to be connected to each other.  We need to be connected to other people who keep their faith alive and well during times of struggle.  We need to find a way to keep company with God.  
When everything is going our way our task is staying balanced and continuing to grow.  If we can't find that balance we find ourselves using a lot energy trying to be in control of what happens next to ensure nothing goes wrong.  That's when we know we have taken God out of the partnership.  We need to be accountable for what we say believe and what we do next.  That's a part of spiritual direction. 
Spiritual direction offers us personal space where we can take time to consider what we believe and feel safe about expressing our doubts, our dreams and our worries.  We can put down or express our concern that God may want more from us than we want to give if we accept His presence in our everyday world.  We can come up with a plan that helps us build an awareness of God's presence.  
Spiritual direction provides a long term relationship that creates a peaceful space.  We use that space to consider the ways God shows us He is present with us always.  We can learn to see and to hear with our spiritual self. That takes practice.  It often takes learning to use the tools he has given us to do that. He is in the everyday miracle when all that worried us last week or yesterday did not happen as much as He is present in our success.  His company means that He cares enough to celebrate and suffer with us - to be with us.  It is typically a long term relationship because we change and grow slowly.  A place to realize and be reminded that it is a noble thing to be a better human than we were just yesterday.  Spiritual direction is a space that allows us to grow
How to choose a director?  We invest our thoughts and concerns with others carefully and we are wise to do that.  We need a spiritual friend with a listening heart where growth is the focus and judgement is not the issue.  It is a path built to help us become more aware of God's presence in our lives.  It is often in the talking about our spiritual path the we discover the tools God provides to guide and direct our growth.  Those tools can be as simple as prayer, meditation, listening, compassion or developing the habit of small acts of kindness and courtesy.  Direction is using these tools to build our awareness that we are a part of all the good God has created and for that, we are responsible.   Realizing and celebrating that growth sets our spirits free to experience the joy of God's presence.  These things are among the benefits that everybody can enjoy from spiritual direction.  

Categories: What is spiritual direction

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