Spirituality is a popular word these days and can refer to everything from New Age concepts like crystals and chakras to traditional prayer practices to ancient mystical texts such as the Kabbalah and the Tao Te Ching. For the person seeking to deepen their spiritual life, there is a dizzying array of choices. None of these options is a one-size-fits-all panacea for the one who hungers for a more meaningful relationship with the Divine. Sometimes a companion is needed who can help the seeker ground their spiritual life on a bedrock of faith and discern spiritual practices that will sustain them on the journey. For many, a spiritual director can be that person.
Spiritual direction is rooted in the tradition of the Christian church. The early desert mothers and fathers, who chose to reject the world and imitate Christ, went out into the wilderness to live in simplicity, solitude and contemplation. The wisdom and insight that grew out of a life of prayer became well known, and other Christians sought them out for spiritual guidance. The practice of spiritual direction has continued in various forms throughout the history of the church and is enjoying a resurgence in recent times.
Spiritual direction is a ministry of listening, both to the directee and the Holy Spirit, with the goal of a deepening relationship with God for the directee. Trained spiritual directors help one become more attentive and responsive to the presence of God in everyday life. Issues that might be discussed in a spiritual direction session include discernment, crises of faith, images of God, and the exploration of prayer and other spiritual practices. The spiritual director is a companion on the lifelong journey towards spiritual wholeness.
Sue Magrath was trained as a spiritual director through the Center for Spiritual Development in Orange, California. In addition, she attended the two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation sponsored by the Upper Room. She would be glad to consult with you about receiving spiritual direction. Because the relationship is such an important one, the first session is free so that both director and directee have the opportunity to discern whether they are the right fit. Subsequent fees are based on a sliding scale. Sessions typically last for an hour once a month, although there are many circumstances in which direction might take on a different kind of rhythm.