Initially we meet for a chat to see if the process would be helpful and make sure we both understand what is expected. This a no commitment, free type of chat, usually over a coffee. I ask you what you want to get out of spiritual direction and then describe the process. If it seems agreeable to both of us we agree to meet for a particular number of times perhaps 3 or 4 and then review how we are getting on. If the mix of personalities isn’t working out, the Directee can simply stop the process. Sessions are typically on a monthly basis, although that might change depending on circumstances.
Describe a typical session?
A session usually lasts for between 50 minutes and an hour. It’s one on one in a room (mutually agreeable location) where there will be no disturbances. We begin with a short prayer . The directee brings the agenda which often revolves around their prayer life, recent prayer experiences, their image of God, how they have been feeling, things they are struggling with, perhaps decisions to be made. The Director helps the Directee to become more in touch with how they are feeling and also with what God is doing in their lives. The Director rarely offers advice but may suggest particular scripture passages to pray and reflect upon. It’s a gentle process. It takes time and moves at the Directee’s pace.
Why should I go to Spiritual Direction?
Often you don’t know how you are feeling or thinking until you have expressed it to someone else. A Director has been trained to listen to your heart and to help you to see what is in there. It’s rare to be able to share what is going on inside you in a respectful, confidential, warm and gentle atmosphere. The session is all about you and for once, you don’t have to feel bad about that!
Being able to hear your own heart reflected back to you has so many benefits. As you share you experiences in prayer with a guide, you begin to see patterns; patterns of response and behaviour of which you have been unaware. Also you begin to detect God’s movement in your heart, you begin to see the signs, get a knack for detecting His fingerprints. Walking this journey with an experienced guide can lead to a much deeper and nuanced prayer life which can bring many riches and resources to our daily lives. The process can help us to experience, for ourselves, God’s deep individual love for us. That growing experience can become the engine room of our lives.