The gift of spiritual direction is a gift to the whole people of God, the Church. Christ calls some of his faithful to serve as spiritual directors so as to accompany others in their journey toward union with him.
This call is both a gift and a task to be taken up for the sake of the whole. The Holy Spirit gives those who are called the gifts of “wisdom, faith, and discernment” so they can be effective instruments of grace in their service to “the living tradition of prayer.”
How can one recognize Christ’s call to become a spiritual director?
Here are dix typical profiles of those who begin to recognize that they are being led toward serving the Church as a spiritual director. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, the experiences of these typical profiles may sound familiar if you or someone you know are being called to become a spiritual director.
- The Catholic permanent deacon or priest who has experience in ministry and finds himself being sought ought to listen to people and give spiritual advice or encouragement. He wants to learn how to accompany people more deeply and walk with them on their journeys with the Lord.
- A working woman or stay-at-home mom who is involved in parish or church activities and volunteers as a Bible study leader or catechist. She has leadership experience in the parish or church community and feels drawn to help others one-on-one. She has gained some spiritual leadership in her church community because of who she is and how she has helped people. People look for her and seek out her advice.
- The business man who has enjoyed mentoring men in his field and even outside of it. He has a stable prayer life and has been in spiritual direction for some time. He wants to be more serious about helping men grow in their relationship with Christ and live their lives in deeper fidelity to Him, both in their work and in their vocations.
- The religious sister, brother or consecrated lay woman or lay man who has been in ministry for some years and feels like this is where God is calling him or her to serve. Superiors have given the go ahead to move into this new ministry.
- The teacher or youth minister whose experience working with young people has helped hone skills of accompaniment and mentorship. He or she senses a desire to walk with other adults more deeply as they grow in their prayer lives.
- The person who has been deeply changed by their own experience of spiritual direction, growing in their own prayer life and in union with Christ. He or she desires to share that with others.
There are many more typical stories of those who are being called to serve their community of faith as a spiritual director. Whether the desire grows from one’s experiences in ministry, walking with others one-on-one, or as a result of one’s own experience with spiritual direction, following the Lord’s call can be a source of great fruit in one’s path to holiness and in service to the whole Church.
Are you being called to serve a spiritual director? Learn more about Divine Mercy University’s Spiritual Direction Certificate Program.