SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is NOT Spiritual Friendship

Spiritual Direction is NOT Friendship

Spiritual friendships are invaluable to the life of a Christian and share many characteristics with spiritual direction. They differ, however, in a few very important ways. One key difference is that the emphasis of spiritual direction is the spiritual life. Spiritual friendships and mentoring relationships frequently include the spiritual life, yet they usually also have elements, activities, and interests that are peripheral (though sometimes beneficial) to the spiritual life. Another key difference is with respect to the intensity of the relationship. Using the personal coach analogy again, most athletes would never expect to have a friendly or passive level of accountability with a personal coach. Instead, they engage with a personal coach to be challenged, pushed, and encouraged toward concrete progress. The directee is ultimately in control, but when he or she seeks out a director, they are typically looking for a much higher level of accountability and direction than friendships often provide–even healthy spiritual friendships.

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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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, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, 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. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director 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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