Are you seeking a closer relationship with God?
Are you interested in deepening your spiritual journey?
I invite you to explore spiritual direction!
Kathleen Ebner firstname.lastname@example.org 302-644-7300
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is a relationship through which we come to better know, love, and follow Christ through the help of a spiritual coach. The director and the directee work together, through the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to understand God's will, and then determine how to follow that leading in a concrete way on a day-to-day basis, with a deeper intimacy with Him.
In spiritual direction, you reflect deeply on the experiences of your daily life. Gradually as you contemplate, you may begin to recognize God's presence and grace in your life. You may come to realize how God's spirit is truly with you every day and everywhere. You discover that God has been waiting for you to seek this closer relationship.
Spiritual direction is really not about being directed. Rather, it is very much about being encouraged to draw closer to God.
Gifts of Spiritual Direction
You might come to spiritual direction for a variety of reasons, including to
- Identify and trust your own experiences of God
- Integrate spirituality into your daily life
- Discern and make difficult choices
- Share your hopes, struggles, and losses
- Develop a sensitivity for justice and concern for the poor
Meet with a Spiritual Director
The privilege and responsibility of a spiritual director is to journey with you as you deepen your relationship with God. The journey takes place in the context of confidential one-on-one with your spiritual director.
Most spiritual directors have extensive training and formation and are seasoned in the art of spiritual direction. I received my training at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, Pa. I continue tending my spiritual life by engaging in ongoing education, confidential supervision, and also meeting regularly with a spiritual director. We will agree on a convenient location and time for meeting, usually once a month for an hour. Many spiritual directors request a fee, some receive your freewill donation, and others offer their time with no expectation of anything in return. As a parishioner of St. Jude The Apostle Church, you receive free spiritual direction as a ministry of the parish.
After three or four sessions, you will have the opportunity to evaluate the relationship. Whether your relationship with the spiritual director continues for many years or for only a short period of time, it is very important to be comfortable with the spiritual director you choose. What is shared between you is held in strict confidence.
I also offer the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, usually between September and May.
What Are the Spiritual Exercises?
The Spiritual Exercises grew out of Ignatius Loyola's personal experience as a man seeking to grow in union with God and to discern God's will. He kept a journal as he gained spiritual insight and deepened his spiritual experience. Eventually Ignatius gathered these prayers, mediations, reflections, and directions into a carefully designed framework of a retreat, which he called "spiritual exercises." He wanted individuals to undertake these exercises with the assistance of an experienced spiritual director who would help them shape the retreat and understand what they were experiencing. For centuries the Exercises were most commonly given as a "long retreat" of about 30 days in solitude and silence. In recent years, there has been a renewed emphasis on the Spiritual Exercises as a program for lay people. The most common way of going through the Exercises now is a "retreat in daily life," which involves a 30 week long program of daily prayer and weekly meetings with a spiritual director. The exercises have also been adapted in many other ways to meet the needs of modern people.