A spiritual director is a wonderful companion on your life’s journey. Whether you are discerning your vocation or want to tune in to how God is moving in your life, a spiritual director can help you along the way. There are a number of things to consider when looking for a spiritual director.
First, think about the reasons why you are drawn to spiritual direction. What are some of the spiritual or life questions that are on your mind and in your heart? What are some of the significant landmarks of your faith journey?
Second, what are important characteristics of a spiritual director that attract you? Do you prefer a female or male director, someone from your own faith tradition, someone with a sense of humor or familiarity with a particular spirituality or culture?
Third, check out the spiritual directors in your area. Start by asking around and seeing if a leader at your parish or a school chaplain can recommend any spiritual directors. You can also contact local retreat centers. Most will have certified spiritual directors on staff. Attending a retreat led by a spiritual director can be a good way to see if you are comfortable with a person before making a one-on-one appointment. You might also check with local theology schools or religious communities to see if they have a list of spiritual directors. A good resource is Spiritual Directors International which has a “Seek and Find” guide as well as a number of resources on spiritual direction and discernment.
Fourth, meet with a few different spiritual directors. Spiritual directors expect that you will need time to decide if the relationship is a good “fit.” Feel free to ask them questions about how they do spiritual direction, what they think about prayer, and what they find helpful when in discernment. Pay attention to how you feel when talking with the spiritual director and listen to how the Spirit is leading you.
For more suggestions on finding a spiritual director, see Finding a Spiritual Director on the Spiritual Directors International website.
Recently Sister Julie was asked about suggestions for a meaningful gift to someone making their final vows as a member of religious community. She actually gets asked this question a lot and has a page on her website devoted to this topic.