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Spiritual Direction is NOT Confession

Spiritual Direction is NOT Confession

Spiritual direction is not synonymous with confession. The challenge with distinguishing spiritual direction from confession usually comes when the modern inquirer reads the saints who talk for post on how spiritual direction is not confessionabout their spiritual director or confessor as if they are one and the same thing. The reason for this is that there was a time when it was very common for confession and spiritual direction to take place together. The challenge of the modern decline in priest-per-parishioner percentage has likely been the unfortunate cause of the separation of the two activities. But spiritual direction has never been the exclusive territory of priests or even religious. As an example, most would be surprised to know that Pope John Paul II, in his youth, had a lay spiritual director. Regardless, at present, confession and spiritual direction are more likely to occur in two separate events.

This is an excerpt from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here.

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What is spiritual direction and my spiritual direction? What are my “blind spots” and how can I uncover them? What keeps me from all the spiritual riches Christ has for me? How can I better understand where I am in my spiritual progress?

Daniel Burke’s Navigating the Interior Life will give you the tools you need to understand how and why we grow and die in the spiritual life and what we can do about it.

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Art for this post on spiritual direection is not confession: Christ and Saint Mina [or Menas], iconographer unknown, 6th-century icon from Bawit, Egypt, PD-US author's life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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