THE PURPOSE of spiritual direction is to help people discover how to define themselves in relation not only to the world, but also to God.
When describing spiritual direction, I like to refer to the metaphor of the three chairs. One chair is for the person, one chair is for the director, and one chair is for the Holy Spirit. Spiritual guidance creates a safe and sacred space for listening, praying and noticing God’s presence.
Spiritual direction is not therapy or pastoral counseling; rather, it is a time of discernment. As the individual shares stories of personal experiences and connections with God, the director is listening for how the Holy Spirit may be moving in that person’s life.
In response, the director may:
- share what she senses in their time together
- offer suggestions for practices that support the person’s own understanding of how God is moving in a particular experience
- simply “just be” with the person while holding the person in prayer and sacred space
As a result, spiritual direction becomes a relationship of grace—an opportunity for both the director and the person to experience God’s love through a mutual relationship with the Holy Spirit.