Recent Posts

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

On Spiritual Direction


"If you find a wise man, beat a path to his door".

From 1971 to 1987 and from 1995 until 2011, I had most of the time in my adult life, excellent spiritual directors.

I was fortunate to be around many priests in my life, especially in the States, and to be in contact with holy lay women. It helped that I was in academia and also a community for a while.

This all ended when I came to Europe for lengths of time. I have found one or two excellent Confessors who have given me direction in Confession, mostly in London and in Malta. I sought out a wise priest in Dublin, but he did not have time to do regular spiritual direction.

This is the problem. There are not enough priests and not enough holy lay women for a lay woman to have as spiritual directors.

But, this is some advice for those of you who need one and cannot find one.

Number one rule, if you are a married woman, your husband is your spiritual director. Only if he refuses to assume the role given to him by God should you seek someone else out. I was taught this a long time ago, and it should help single women choose good husbands, if they are in courtship. Ladies, ask yourself, could this man help me grow spiritually, not merely by default and through suffering, but in wisdom and strength?


The old, horribly false idea that the woman is the spiritual head of the family, as sometimes believed in Latin America and southern European families, is just plain "out of order" and therefore, wrong. I have heard young men say that they would rely on a spouse to lead the spiritual life of a family. No, no, no....

Proverbs 12:20
He that walketh with the wise, shall be wise: a friend of fools shall become like to them.



Holy Wisdom http://www.varvar.ru/en/ikona/sofiya/index.html
Number two, singles need spiritual directors in order to discern their real vocations. One cannot merely go bumping along blindly. However, in these times, when there is a lack of priests and holy lay people, an excellent Confessor can be asked to direct. Some do, especially in the Westminster Diocese. It seems these priests, between 40-70, have training to ask the right questions and guide. Not all, but many...

Number three, all married men need a spiritual director. If one cannot be found, one must spend hours in front of the Lord in Adoration during the week. Men who are leading families, raising children and taking God into the world must have some grounding in the reality of the spiritual life.

http://www.varvar.ru/en/ikona/sofiya/index.html

Number four, the age to find one is when the young adult goes to college. When my son went to Thomas Aquinas College, there was a priest in every male dorm, having rosary meetings, open door policies for direction and private meetings as needed. They were all excellent. This is another good reason to encourage and if you as a parent are paying, sending your children to such colleges; Thomas Aquinas, Christendom, Ave Maria, Thomas More, Wyoming Catholic, Steubenville and so on of that ilk. Directors are available and the young adult gets into a habit of such direction.

Make sure the priest or lay person is absolutely orthodox, believing all that the Catholic Church teaches.

Direction in spiritual matters can come directly from God, of course. But, even in the Illuminative State, a person can veer off into heresy. Pride is always a temptation.

http://www.varvar.ru/en/ikona/sofiya/index.html


God will never abandon us. He provides.

Believe that.

Proverbs 1:5
 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

7 comments:

Lynda said...

Thank you for this. Sadly, I have never had a person to give me spiritual direction. As you say, there are just not enough priests, religious or others with the time, desire and ability for it to be available to most lay persons who are committed to their Faith and who would dearly wish to have ongoing spiritual direction.

Catechist Kev said...


"This is another good reason to encourage and if you as a parent are paying, sending your children to such colleges; Thomas Aquinas, Christendom, Ave Maria, Thomas More, Wyoming Catholic, Steubenville and so on of that ilk."

SuperT, we cannot afford to send our kids to these schools. No way.

Last I checked Steubenville is $26K per year(and they keep rising every year) and it is fairly much that for the others, too. We have five children. We are not able to do this.

So, in total, that would be in the neighborhood of $500K for all of our kids (for four years).

Not happening with my family (sadly).

CK

Supertradmum said...

Start your own college, CK and challenge your kids to get scholarships. My son did not pay a bean at TAC for tuition. All the students get something and all students, even if they have wealthy parents, have to work on campus in a job the first year, which is really good.

Catechist Kev said...


As homeschoolers we will not see many scholarships.

Also, the schools you have listed are too far away. They don't want to be that far from home.

We'll stay local and do as best we can.

CK

Supertradmum said...

CK, my son was homeschooled through high school as, were about 25% of his class at TAC. And, he got scholarships. So try. As to going away, the experience is so good, it is worth it. Really. Take a look at the websites.

As to the lack of priests, I knew this was happening years ago, which is why we desperately need more priests. The next generation will not have the sacraments we have. My own diocese of Davenport Iowa will only have 15 active priests for 100,000 Catholics in two years.

Catechist Kev said...


"My own diocese of Davenport Iowa will only have 15 active priests for 100,000 Catholics in two years."

As I have said before I believe that in some situations this has been by design.

That way the powers-that-be can tug on the cassocks of Rome to clamour for wymyn "priests" and married priests (after ordination).

CK

Supertradmum said...

CK, I know that as well. Absolutely is partly ideology