Spiritual Direction has a long history in the Christian tradition, and it also has a special place in the life and practice of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, a specific pattern of prayer designed to deepen one’s Christian life, includes spiritual direction as an essential component for each retreatant moving through the exercises. The spiritual director must be someone grounded in her or his own life of prayer, and prepared to listen closely to the movement of the Spirit in another’s life. Spiritual direction is a form of confidential sharing of one’s experiences and insights and questions, while seeking the companionship, encouragement and challenge from the director. Spiritual direction has strong roots in the Catholic tradition, and is accessible to all Christians. It also can be practiced in a way that offers guidance and encouragement to those of other faith traditions, since the qualities of heartfelt, careful listening can be nourishing to persons of various backgrounds and spiritual traditions.
If you are interested in exploring spiritual direction, please approach those of us in the Center for Jesuit Education to explore possible resources.