By Marcia Moore
Q. Why do people go to a spiritual director?
A. There are several reasons people choose to go to a spiritual director, the first of which is to answer the call of Jesus.
“On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, ‘Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink.’” Jn. 7:37
And throughout the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly tells people to follow him. Of course we can follow Jesus without having a spiritual director, but it can be helpful to have someone to walk on the journey with us especially when the road becomes difficult or we stumble.
Sometimes people seek direction in a period of growth. We recognize, as many of the saints did, that this life is only a journey and a preparation for the next. People go to a spiritual director because they want more in their lives. They are yearning for what the Holy Spirit has for them and want to understand God’s action in their lives. It can be very helpful to have an unbiased person reflect when we share what God seems to be doing.
Although it is not absolutely necessary to have a spiritual director to gain holiness, it is one of the normal means of spiritual progress. St. Francis de Sales points out that a man who believes he is his own physician has a fool for a patient. Let us consider his wisdom as we seek to grow spiritually.
(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.)