What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is a one-to-one relationship with another individual for the purpose of obtaining spiritual guidance. “A spiritual director – or soul friend – will encourage, guide, advise, confront and challenge us on the path toward holiness,” writes Father Chet in An Introduction to Spiritual Direction.

It is not a modern concept as Aelred of Rievaulx, an English Cistercian, eloquently described the director-directee relationship in the 12th century:

“What happiness, what security, what joy to have someone to whom you dare to speak on terms of equality as to make another self; one to whom you can unblushingly make known what progress you have made in the spiritual life; one to whom you an entrust all the secrets of your heart and before whom you can place all your plans.”

A session with a spiritual director is having a respectful conversation, in a safe place, with a soul companion.

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.

~ Thomas Merton, No Man is an Island