Spiritual Direction – Questions to Ponder
Christian spirituality is a personal response to God, the Creator of all people and all natural things. A Christian responds upon perceiving God as good and desirous of sharing divine life with all human beings, and particularly oneself. This may happen at a very young age when parents or other adults first teach children to pray and perhaps pray with them, thus planting seeds of faith. Praying waters the seeds of belief and trust in a supreme being who loves and cares. For other people this realization may come later in life. This personal response to God extends over the time and space of a person’s whole life and includes one’s intelligence, body, emotions, desires and will. An ongoing personal response is nurtured within the context of a Christian community or family where one is enabled to grow in self-giving and self-transcendence. That is the call of the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – for the individual to strive for union with the divine in this world and beyond it.
Temptation to do what is wrong distracts. Committing serious sins derails the response. Failure to pay attention to God’s presence in one’s life creates a distance from God and leads to indifference to the calls God shows frequently to the person.
Opposing the negatives forces or vices within oneself and in the persons and things in the world Cultivating positive habits or virtues within oneself and associating with persons who reinforce one’s life force of faith
All knowledge is socially constructed. When one relates to God as a person and not just an idea, that is the beginning of a relationship. Notice the universal structures of everyday experiences and then fill in the blanks with concrete experiences where the real motivating power lies to respond to God.
First there is a subjective dimension–the human person or the self. Second there is the objective dimension, that which is not identical with the person, referred to as “the divine other” or God.
God’s Spirit is primarily at work in one’s ordinary human experience. To be more aware of the spiritual dimension of one’s life, one must first be in touch with oneself, becoming aware of all the various levels on which one operates. Through a growing sensitivity to oneself, one discerns which inclinations and feelings are caused by only human dynamics and which reveal God’s Spirit calling us to deeper life in Jesus Christ.
To explore a closer relationship with God. In the midst of a busy life, many people find it difficult to notice God’s action in their daily lives. Yet, many Christians long for a more conscious experience of God’s presence and love.
Identifying and trusting one’s own experience of God Integrating spirituality into daily life Discerning and then making difficult choices Sharing struggles, losses or disappointments Finding encouragement and affirmation Growing in relationship with God, self, others and creation
A director is to be a spiritual companion rather than a person who tells a directee what to do. The director is to keep all matters shared confidential while helping the directee see God’s action The director is to journey with directees as they deepen in their relationship with God.
Agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour Many directors request a nominal fee, others a free will donation, others offer their time. The director and directee agree on what is acceptable To find a director, ask questions of coordinators in your area Meet the first time just to test the comfort level of both. One may have to search until finding a “good fit” in spiritual direction.