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Posted By Eric Sammons On September 22, 2009 @ 8:00 am In Spirituality | Comments Disabled
Do you know what I think is the most frustrating aspect of spiritual life?
The inability to obtain spiritual direction.
Spiritual direction is something all the saints and spiritual masters recommend, even demand, for growth in the spiritual life. This advice is often repeated today. Pope Benedict recently emphasized the importance of spiritual direction . When I heard Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA speak recently , he hammered home the importance of spiritual direction.
However, this is definitely a case of easier said than done. An audience member asked Metropolitan Jonah how could an average layperson receive spiritual direction when there were few priests or monks available for such a task. His Beatitude admitted that there were too few parish priests for everyone to go to spiritual direction to them, and most parish priests in his own church were unqualified for it anyway. I think it likely that the same is true in the Catholic Church.
Personally, I go to the same priest for confession each month, which does help as he knows me and can build upon what he said previously (or, as is often the case, repeat what he said last time). But confession is not spiritual direction. In spiritual direction, one gets direction for all aspects of the spiritual life – not just advice on how to avoid certain persistent sins (as important as that is). A spiritual director can guide the individual to a deeper relationship with Christ by recommending specific practices and prayers that will help the directee.
I don’t really have a solution to this problem, but I do think it important that we pray for the Lord to bring more spiritual directors into our Church so that we all might advance in holiness.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/09/22/spiritual-frustration/
URLs in this post:
 Pope Benedict recently emphasized the importance of spiritual direction: http://www.zenit.org/article-26880?l=english
 I heard Metropolitan Jonah of the OCA speak recently: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/06/17/we-need-a-pope/
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