Spiritual Direction

spiritual direction picPAX has a staff of trained and experienced spiritual directors. They are listed under the PAX Team. To find out more and/or to arrange an appointment with a director in your region, please contact us at PAXcenter@gmail.com.


Overview

Meet individually with a trained spiritual director in the context of a confidential and nurturing environment, and together pay attention to your  relationship with God. The spiritual director is a sacred companion who prayerfully listens to you in order to help discern and notice with you God’s loving presence and action in your life, and how you are responding. Some of its gifts include:

  • A deeper and trusting relationship with God.
  • Discerning and living out of God’s call.
  • Walking through transitions in life.
  • Noticing God’s presence in your daily life.
  • Responding to your own experiences of God.
  • Sharing your dreams, losses, and struggles.


What is Spiritual Direction?

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25 NRS

As a part of the broader field of spiritual formation, spiritual direction (or guidance) focuses on cultivating a person’s relationship with God.  It is a ministry of discernment offering prayerful listening and attention to the movements and presence of God in every aspect of your life, and how you are responding.

The following definitions of spiritual direction offer helpful insight:

We define Christian spiritual direction as help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live the consequences of the relationships. –Barry & Connelly

A Spiritual Director is not a counselor, a therapist or an analyst, but a mature fellow Christian to whom we choose to be accountable for living our spiritual life and from whom we can expect prayerful guidance in our constant struggle to discern God’s activity. –Henri Nouwen

…the spiritual director will be finally interested in the ultimate dimensions of all this experience, namely:  Where is God in all of this? Where in your life do you encounter him most powerfully? What do you think He is moving or calling you to? How would He want you to grow spiritually through the routine of your work, the conflicts and joys of your living situation the important relationships of your life, your temptations, your feelings about yourself? How might faith, hope, and love pervade your ordinary perceptions and choices more completely? The concern of spiritual direction is not a separate realm, but the deepest dimension of every realm.”  –Thomas N. Hart 

In spiritual direction, your story has a place to unfold and be honored as you describe struggles, losses, joys, milestones, and questions on your spiritual journey. It is a place to be receptive to God’s invitations of grace in your life. Through spiritual direction, you learn to recognize and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you integrate doctrine and belief with the lived experience of your faith.

Spiritual direction leads to a growing awareness of God’s love for you in all of life. It is a place to discover, notice and respond to God’s transforming work of grace.


What is the Role of the Spiritual Director?

A spiritual director has the privilege of prayerfully listening and drawing attention to the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the life of another as we are being shaped into Christlikeness. Those called to this ministry recognize God as the true director and consider themselves to be “holy listeners”.

As a spiritual director, our primary role is to be a sacred companion on the spiritual journey of faith; an advocate that listens to your story, to the intersection of life and prayer and help discern the presence and loving initiative of God. A director’s role is to foster discovery in the context of a welcoming, confidential, safe, authentic and nurturing environment. A spiritual director is open and eager to draw attention to God’s grace and love in your life, and to invite you to give voice to those experiences that draw you into a deeper and conscious relationship with God. A spiritual director is a prayer companion in all that makes up your life.


What Happens in a Spiritual Direction Session?

A person meets with their spiritual director usually once a month for an hour. The session is held in a relaxed atmosphere of confidentiality and mutual respect where a person can openly examine their life and relationship with God. There is no set agenda. The director is a reverent listener offering reflective questions and guidance as your spiritual journey unfolds. A session may include spoken and/or silent prayer, contemplative exercises, or Scripture reading.


Who is Spiritual Direction for?

Those seeking spiritual direction come in all shapes and sizes. Some come with a desire for:

  •  A deeper prayer life
  •  Guidance through transitions in life
  •  Help noticing and responding to God’s presence in the midst of daily life
  •  Discerning and living out of God’s call
  •  A prayer companion and guide through a difficult season of life
  •  A safe and confidential place to share dreams, losses, and struggles 


How Do I Choose a Spiritual Director?

It is important that in any spiritual direction relationship there be a mutual sense of open, honest and clear communication and a reverence for the unique way God is working in the individuals involved.

With that backdrop, during the initial phone call you may want to ask:

  • Where do you meet with people?
  • What are your fees?
  • How long are your sessions?
  • Where did you receive your training?
  • How long have you been offering spiritual direction?
  • When can we arrange for an initial interview?
  • Is a fee expected for the first interview?

In preparing to interview a spiritual director, you may want to consider:

  • Your objectives in seeking spiritual direction
  • Attitudes/characteristics you would like to find in a spiritual director
  • Their theological background and faith tradition
  • How they attend to their own spiritual journey

Compensation is typically discussed and agreed upon at the first meeting and generally ranges from $30-$100 per session.

After 3 or 4 meetings, you may want to ask:

  • Do I experience a feeling of trust, comfort and freedom with this director?
  • Am I able to speak to this person about my most important issues?
  • Is this person a good listener; do I feel heard?
  • Will this relationship help me grow in prayer and in my relationship with God?
  • What is the director’s view of the “fit” of our relationship?