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Spiritual Direction and discernment

Jul 16, 2014

Hi Father,

I’m not sure if I’ve already asked you this question as I tried before and am not sure if it worked, so sorry for the double up if that is so!

Just a question about discernment and spiritual direction. Firstly, is it appropriate to have for one to have their parish priest as their spirtual director, particularly when they are family friends with him; and what qualities should I look for in a spiritual director?

Also, does one’s reason for seeking spiritual direction outside of the confessional have to be about religious vocations, or could it be, for instance, seeking advice about post school ministry/study options?

Thank you Father, God Bless,


Asked at 11:16 am on July 16th 2014

Dear Isabella:

Yes, your previous question did get through, so I deleted it given it was a duplication of this question.

You are free to choose a spiritual director, whether a priest you already know or someone else. A spiritual director should be someone you have confidence in, as you will be talking about personal issues and problems. It should also be someone who you think has the sufficient maturity and holiness to guide you spiritually.

Spiritual direction is by no means limited to the topic of vocations, but is more about a dialogue with someone who will help you to develop spiritually, help you overcome your weaknesses and enable you to grow in the life of virtue and grace. If this includes guidance on a possible vocation, well, that is fine, but it could also be simply spiritual advice for a person who is serious about their faith and wants some advice and help.

Replied at 01:30 am on July 17th 2014