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Spiritual Direction Did Not Work for Me – Now What?


Spiritual Direction did Not Work for Me – Now What?   Dear Father John, Two years ago I began “spiritual direction” with a highly educated, sympathetic and easy to talk to, intelligent, [director] but apparently not quite orthodox and not very well experienced or educated in spiritual direction. I come from the “Latin Mass tradition” of the FSSP-whom I hope you do... Read More

Can I Trust a Spiritual Director who Uses the Enneagram?

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Dear Dan, I recently began a new relationship with a spiritual director who claimed to be committed to the teachings of the Church. She is a local Benedictine sister who is very nice and seems to be sincere. However, in our second session she asked if I would be interested in using an ancient tool of spiritual wisdom known as the enneagram to help me in my spiritual progress. I recall reading about... Read More

What is the difference between confession and spiritual direction?


Dear Father John, what is the difference between confession and spiritual direction? Confession and spiritual direction are like partially overlapping circles: they share some common characteristics, but their centers, their essences, are distinct. The Distinction of Confession The essence of confession is the sacramental grace that Christ gives to our soul through the ministry of his priest. When... Read More

Should I be looking for another spiritual director?

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Dear Father John, I was wondering if you could give me a bit of perspective. I recently asked a director to help me in my discernment of religious life.  After he agreed I wrote out a summary of the context for my perceived call along with a list of my vices/faults, graces/strengths, etc. The arrangement was that after reading the letter, we would talk, with the idea that I would write emails... Read More

Where can I find a spiritual director?

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Dear Father John, I remember reading long ago St. Vincent Ferrer’s “Treatise on the Spiritual Life”, which near the end says that those who cannot find a director will, if sincere, be guided by God/the Holy Spirit himself. He does Not say how God will do this (audibly, by supernatural phenomena, by circumstances one lives in or encounters, by books, or some other ways)? I would very... Read More

How to Know if Spiritual Director is Faithful to the Church?


Dear Dan, I am hesitant to go to a local priest for spiritual direction because I am worried about his submission, or lack of submission to the Church. He is a good priest but he has made some confusing comments about abortion and a few political topics etc. Are there simple questions I can ask and a way to ask (that would not be offensive) to help me determine if a particular priest or lay person... Read More

Who should I go to for spiritual direction?


Dear Father John, I’m a new Catholic as of April, 2012. I received spiritual direction that was immensely helpful with a priest about four times, before I was received into the church. While in my first confession, that priest told me I needed ongoing spiritual direction for many specific reasons. He said I should contact the pastor because he, as an assistant pastor, could not guarantee meeting... Read More

Faithful priests too busy: How can I find a spiritual director?


Dear Dan, My director is a wonderful, caring person but is also quite a bit less inclined to follow the magisterium than I am. I wish I had the opportunity to see a faithful priest from time to time. I have tried hard to find a priest willing to provide me with spiritual direction (especially now, as I am going through some severe moral crises and sufferings); however, I have been turned down repeatedly... Read More

Can I be my own spiritual director? I can’t find one: what now?


Dear Father John, I haven’t been able to find a spiritual director yet (which is kind of frustrating). I am still looking, but what should I do in the meantime? Can someone be their own spiritual director? This is a deeper question than you might think. First, continue to ask God to put you in touch with someone who can be your spiritual director. (If you haven’t read the post about how to find... Read More

How do I find and select a spiritual director?


Dear Father John, what is the best way to find a Spiritual Director? Should it be your pastor? A friend? Or someone whom you do not know when you begin? Finding a spiritual director usually follows four steps: First, you need to remember what spiritual direction is all about. The role of a spiritual director is not to tell you what to do, the way a boss or a military drill sergeant does. Rather, a... Read More

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