By Marcia Moore
What’s the difference between spiritual direction and confession or counseling?
One of the very first things a would-be spiritual director learns is that ‘Spiritual Direction is NOT counseling!” The directee may receive some insights into difficult situations he or she encounters when speaking to a spiritual director. However, unlike counseling, the main focus of spiritual direction is growth centered not problem centered. The focus is on the directee and his or her relationship with the Lord.
In the sacrament of reconciliation, the focus is on awareness of one’s own sin, repentance and renewal of relationship with God. A person may become more aware of sin during spiritual direction, thus removing roadblocks to spiritual growth. There are few priests today who are trained in spiritual direction and have time to offer, but if you have found one consider yourself blessed. You can do both in one appointment!
(Marcia Moore, M.S. Ed., is a longtime professional Christian therapist and certified Spiritual Director who founded Eagles’ Wings to provide counseling from a Christian perspective. She is a member of St. Alphonsus Parish, Davenport.)