At Imago, we highly encourage you to seek out a spiritual director, whether you’re desiring a renewal in your relationship with God, in the midst of discerning a specific decision, or simply wanting to try something new to deepen your spirituality.
"Most people would agree that spiritual direction means companionship with another person or group through which the Holy One shines with wisdom, encouragement and discernment. Some, however, expect this companionship to be of a professional nature, with a trained, supervised, and perhaps even certified spiritual director. Others see it as spontaneous and gifted, strongly resisting signs of professionalization.
Spiritual guidance can happen authentically in a vast variety of forms. The many forms can be divided into two major groups: Formal spiritual direction and informal spiritual companionship. Formal spiritual direction includes relationships that are explicitly defined as spiritual direction with a clear separation of roles between spiritual director and spiritual directee. Meetings are usually scheduled in advance on a regular basis, and a spiritual directee normally has only one formal director.
Informal spiritual companionship is characterized by a lack of structure and role definition. These relationships are not considered exclusive, and most people have several such companionships. Meetings tend to be irregular and spontaneous. There is nearly always some atmosphere of mutuality, and each person retains his or her own locus of discernment. There is no notion of providing a service, and fees are out of the question."
Gerald May, MD.
Excerpted from Shalem News, Volume xxii, No. 1, Winter, 1998,
"Varieties Of Spiritual Companionship”
"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 out the consequences of the relationship."
William A. Barry, SJ and William J. Connolly, SJ
Center for Religous Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA