SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

What Spiritual Direction Is …

What Spiritual Direction Is …

This post is a definition of what constitutes spiritual direction, its main focus, its central aim and its ultimate end as well as a listing of posts which explain what spiritual direction is not and a link to spiritual direction posts on this site.

Now that we are clear on what does not constitute spiritual direction (see the posts listed below), we can provide a summary of what makes up spiritual direction: a relationship between three persons: 1) the Holy Spirit, 2) the director, and 3) the directee. God’s will for the directee is the main topic of spiritual direction. Spiritual direction's central aim is to help guide the directee to purposefully, consistently, and substantively grow in his or her relationship with God and neighbor by discovering God’s presence and embracing his will through the fruitful practice of prayer and virtue. The ultimate end of spiritual direction, as Jesus commanded, is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31).

This post and the posts below are excerpts from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more about the book, click here.

Other Posts on Spiritual Direction:


Art for this post on what spiritual direction is: 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, 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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