Spiritual Direction and the Moral Life

Please post your responses to the prompts in the Spiritual Direction and Moral Life course here.

Comments

  1. My understanding of Spiritual direction is very clear now. It focuses to strength and empower the relationship with God. It is purely about the relation of a person with God. I like its method which centred in prayer life especially it helps the person to learn more deep and meditative prayer life. I also impressed by the module4&5 which are listening and prayer. These are the power and best instrument for doing a fruitful spiritual direction with whoever needs. These are the qualities help the Director and the person to give priority to the presence and leading power of God.

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  2. Week 1: The Moorings of Spiritual Direction
    Spiritual direction is about holy conversation and relationship. Relationships between:
    (1) the person seeking direction and God;
    (2) the director and God;
    (3) the 3 persons of the Trinity;
    (4) the director and the person seeking guidance; and
    (5) the person seeking guidance, the director, and God, who is the silent partner.
    The importance of acknowledging the social nature of spiritual direction not only highlights the need for mutual giving and receiving among both parties but also the need for each to be connected to God in that same kind of relationship.
    Margie

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  3. Week 2: An Alphonsian Approach to Spiritual Direction
    The beauty of using the Alphonsian method of mental prayer/meditation in spiritual direction lies in its simplicity. Once it becomes part of your daily routine, it becomes like breathing. It fosters growth and development focusing on developing that relationship with the Triune God. This method could be used in the brief pastoral visit or more extended, formal sessions. One of the things I love about Alphonsian spirituality is Alphonsus' constant reminder that God meets us right where we are, and that God wants to be in a relationship with everyone.

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  4. Week 3: Spiritual Direction and the Moral Life
    The connection between spiritual direction and the moral life were demonstrated quite well in this portion of the course. The mere act of seeking spiritual direction expresses a desire to be in closer communion with God, and one cannot seek closer intimacy with God without being changed. Being changed by God means we cannot help but move towards living a moral life. We have been gifted in our Tradition with learned people sharing varied views on the virtues and opposing vices. Spiritual directors who wish to walk sincerely with another out to have had least studied what the church already has to offer on the topic.

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  5. Week 4: Dialoguing with Other Traditions
    In my tradition, spiritual direction plays a vital role for those who wish to deepen their relationship with God and grow in holiness. Our tradition consists of the living wisdom of giants such as Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Keating, and our own Alphonsus Liguori to name a few. What I love about our tradition today is that we no longer pooh-pooh the ideas of great thinkers outside the tradition, such as Paul Tillich, who provides excellent insight into the conversation. With the precious wisdom that has been passed on to us, it is a shame more individuals do not take advantage of the spiritual direction process. I would propose that if that were so, many of the problems in the world would not happen. With the simplicity of the template presented and its broad applicability to different spiritualities, this book/course should provide a means to begin or revisit spiritual direction in one's life.

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  6. WEEK 2:
    The dynamics of Alphonsian mental prayer/meditation is the entire process of the spiritual direction because Spiritual direction is to help or accompany the directee to rediscover, strength his/her spirituality and to deepen his/her union/communion with God. This process needs prayer life and attitude. As it explained in the video, mental prayer is speaking to God one to one as the manner of dearest friend and is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with divine love. So in prayer we abandoned in the guidance of God and we receive the necessary virtues, qualities, and guidance of the Holy Spirit to touch the heart of our directee in the proper way. That’s why the spiritual direction has to be done in the atmosphere of prayer. Prayer is very crucial for directors and directree. It opens us to God and to others. Mental prayer is the heart of our sessions.

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  7. WEEK 2:
    The dynamics of Alphonsian mental prayer/meditation is the entire process of the spiritual direction because Spiritual direction is to help or accompany the directee to rediscover, strength his/her spirituality and to deepen his/her union/communion with God. This process needs prayer life and attitude. As it explained in the video, mental prayer is speaking to God one to one as the manner of dearest friend and is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with divine love. So in prayer we abandoned in the guidance of God and we receive the necessary virtues, qualities, and guidance of the Holy Spirit to touch the heart of our directee in the proper way. That’s why the spiritual direction has to be done in the atmosphere of prayer. Prayer is very crucial for directors and directree. It opens us to God and to others. Mental prayer is the heart of our sessions.

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  8. Week II
    There were several quotes of St. Alphonsus that helped me to understand the importance of mental prayer. He states that everyone has received sufficient grace to pray. God wishes to speak with the individual with confidence and familiarity. Those words speak of relationship, the relationship between the person and God. As is the case with most relationships, if not all, there is time to talk and time to be quiet. When there is a deep relationship, you can be comfortable in the silence. I think the way to a deep relationship with God is through this mental prayer or meditation.
    As a Spiritual Director, I walk with my directees on their journey with God. Using the dynamics of St. Alphonsus, I think I will now encourage more of the mental prayer/meditation with God. I do encourage quiet time with God, increased listening from the heart, etc. This form of prayer allows everyone, no matter what the person’s ability is, to learn, to listen and to understand. Having a conversation with God should be from the heart, not necessarily from the head. Using this form of prayer allows everyone to be in relationship with God, at their level and with an understanding and a belief that God is there for them and is listening and speaking just like we do with God.
    On a personal level, I too, can benefit from this approach. Even though I have the faith (Lord, I believe in You, contrition (have mercy on me) and the desire to know more (give me light) about God’s will in my life, I still struggle with the letting go and allowing God in.
    The words sound so simple, and the process can be easy. But it does take work to be able to open yourself up to God, to allow God to use you, to not be afraid of what God might ask of you.
    A lot to think about has a Christian and as a Director.
    Lorraine

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  9. Week III
    I think that the connection between spiritual direction and the moral life go hand-in-hand. Spiritual direction is accompanying someone on a journey to get closer to God. This is done through prayer (silent, mental and meditative), conversation with the director and an awareness of our actions and beliefs. I believe that it is prayer that truly creates the relationship with God. Prayer gives us the words and the thoughts both to God and from God. Prayer is the heart of the journey.
    We have so many tools that tell us how to live a good Christian life. Scripture is filled with how to live, we have the 10 commandments, we have the sacraments, promptings of the Holy Spirit, etc. Spiritual Direction should help a person to have a desire to know more about God, to delve more deeply into a life with and for Christ, a life of virtue, a moral life. It should encourage the person to look for the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
    If a person is truly seeking out God through prayer, then there is no way that it can be separated from the moral life. If we use all of the tools given to us, we then know right from wrong, what virtues are good vs. no virtues, good morals vs. immorality. Through Spiritual Direction, a person is led to see ‘the light’ of what God is asking of the person or calling that person to be. As Pope Francis states in The Light of Faith, “A celebration of Christian faith is the building up of the light of a successful and fruitful life.” If we are united on the journey toward God, we should only desire a good life in and through God.

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    Replies
    1. Reflection Part One

      Spiritual direction is a helping relationship with a director, directive or non-directive that focuses on the spiritual growth of the individual seeking direction. Regular sessions are set up, during which such topics are discussed as how we treat ourselves, how we act towards others, how we live, how we behave towards God and how we pray. Through the active listening of the director, the directee engages in holy conversation with God that aids the person in becoming more their true self as well as get in touch with their needs.

      The impact on my own life has been beneficial in the enabling me to listen for the sometimes silent voice of God. The regular sessions have assisted me in recognizing the ever present voice of God, especially when I become too restless to notice or hear it on my own.

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  10. Week 4
    As a Catholic, I feel that spiritual direction is an important part of my religious tradition. A Christian is called to live a life that reflects/mirrors Christ. It is a life that encompasses prayer, reflection and a moral life.
    I often think of the 12 apostles who were present with Christ. Despite that fact that they were with Christ and heard him preach and saw His actions, etc., they still didn’t always get what Christ was trying to show them. And so, the same holds true for me. Although I have the scriptures, the 10 commandments, etc., I don’t always understand or hear what it is God is trying to tell me. It is through spiritual direction that I am able to help search out what God is calling me to. It is through this relationship, this assurance of prayer for me, this guidance and support, that I am able to delve deeper into my relationship with God and perhaps hear God’s voice clearer than if I were to do it alone.
    Spiritual Direction allows me the opportunity to have someone else walk with me on a journey that I feel is the most important in my life. Nothing can be more important than living my life with and for God. In my humanity, I know that I will fail at times and perhaps not ‘get’ what God is trying to tell but I know that God is always with me and will give me as many chances and opportunities to listen.

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  11. above was written by Lorraine

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