Friday, October 17, 2008

On Spiritual Direction

Attended a women's group at our church last night. Our topic was prayer and we looked especially at St Teresa of Avila and prayer.

I read a bit more about this saint last night and about her spiritual director - St Peter of Alcantara.

The Church guides our souls; we all have need for spiritual direction and we receive, in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, graces and guidance.

So, to a certain extent, we all have spiritual directors, receive spiritual direction.

But, are we called to have a specific spiritual director , more private guidance, in addition to this more general direction ? A director who can guide us towards perfection?

The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say on spiritual direction ~

II. Still more frequently is spiritual direction required in the lives of Christians who aim at the attainment of perfection . All religious are obliged to do so by their profession; and many of the faithful, married and unmarried, who live amidst worldly cares aspire to such perfection as is attainable in their states of life. This striving after Christian perfection means the cultivation of certain virtues and watchfulness against faults and spiritual dangers. The knowledge of this constitutes the science of asceticism. The spiritual director must be well versed in this difficult science, as his advice is very necessary for such souls. ...

IV. Whoever the director be, he will find the principal means of progress towards perfection to consist in the exercise of prayer and mortification. But upon the special processes of these two means, spiritual guides have been led by the Holy Spirit in various directions. Different is the type for the solitary in the desert, the cenobite in the community, for a St. Louis or a Blanche of Castile in a palace, St. Frances of Rome in her family, or a St. Zita in her kitchen, for contemplative and for active religious orders and congregations.

Or for a working, homeschooling , busy mother and wife...
P.S. Can certain blogs and blogging count as spiritual direction? Wishful thinking? :-)

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