|Question Title||Posted By||Question Date|
|Spiritual Direction||Carla||Monday, December 22, 2008|
I recently realized that I have been trying to give my heart to God my entire life, but never knew my heart enough to actually do so. In college, I began to pray in a more intuitive way (which I now know to be meditation or contemplation), though in the end I did not know what to do with this method, or what God was telling me, so I abandoned it. I did not pray for four years (aside from robotically attending Sunday Mass), and was so averse to rote prayer during that time that I was rather dumbfounded, wondering what in the world was happening to my spiritual life and if I was indeed a horrible person because of my total lack of fervor. Eventually I stopped worrying and became complacent about it.
|Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM
I am sorry you had a bad experience with a Spiritual Director and are having a hard time finding a new one. A good Director is hard to find. I would recommend to you Father DuBay's book, "Seeking Spiritual Direction: How to Grow the Divine Life Within" This book defines what is involved and what is not involved in Spiritual Direction, how to find a Director, and what to do if a Director cannot be found.
It is important that you do not allow your feelings to dictate your spiritual life. Feelings will often lead you astray. Instead you need to devoutly offer yourself to God in prayer even if you do not feel like it. Many people go through dry times in prayer, but perseverance anyway is important. God will honor your perseverance.
You also need to be careful about concluding that God is leading you to a particular Spiritual Director. We can easily misinterpret these leadings. If the priest you approached was too busy to take you as a directee then that pretty much says that he did not feel called to provide you with spiritual direction. If this was a divine appointment he would have felt called provide you with spiritual direction (unless he was not listening to God). In any event, you need to pray for God to send you a Director, but let it just happen -- do not try to "identify" the person, rather "discover" who the person is. Part of how to do that is to ask people about spiritual direction. One of them might say yes.
But, do not look for or expect something emotional in your prayer. Contemplation is not an emotional activitiy, rather it is a spiritual one. Instead offer your prayers devoutly and faithfully. If an emotional experience happens, praise God; if no emotional experience happens, praise God.
Begin slowly. I would advise spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. Sit there quietly and contemplate our Lord. At home you might read a passage from Scripture and then mediate on it.
What do you do with it? You love God with it. The purpose of contemplation is intimacy with God. We contemplate to get closer to God. As we grow closer and closer to God we find ourselves living better lives, we find our minds conforming to the mind of Christ, we find ourselves on the road to holiness.
Contemplate and meditate to know and be intimate with God.
For information on how to receive help see our Help page. We suggest that before contacting us directly for help you try the Seven Steps to Self-Deliverance. These self-help steps will often resolve the problem. Also our Spiritual Warfare Prayer Catalog contains many prayers that may be helpful. If needed you can ask for a Personal Consultation.