Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thoughts on Spiritual Direction

When I was there, in 2009, we had been told that the directors would no longer give spiritual direction. I didn't find out until later (not from the LC communique) that part of the indication, in keeping with canon law, was that we were to have freedom in choosing our own spiritual guides and that they didn't have to be from the Movement. When I was there, the spiritual guides were still assigned, and were from the same team of directors, even though your SD wouldn't be your personal director. Also we were to continue going to "formation dialogue" with the director, and there seemed to be no difference whatsoever between spiritual direction and formation dialogue. We were still clearly told in directives, etc. to tell the director everything in complete openness, and that spiritual guidance was just there from the Church as "additional support." We were also told in directives that there was no change in spirit, and that in practice what we had been doing with the director as SD was correct - we had just been using the wrong terminology and were to begin calling it formation dialogue. From my current understanding, that wasn't exactly what the Holy See meant when it sent the indication to change that practice... So I'm not sure that I would agree that it was "well implemented." In the Church, there is a clear distinction between the role of the director, in terms of obedience, and the role of the spiritual guide, and that hadn't been drawn in the Movement yet, and the role of personal freedom in choosing your spiritual guide had not been implemented, or communicated. It is possible that it has been changed further since the delegate took office, because I know one of his points of focus was the matter of conscience, part of which directly related to the SD/confession issues. 
*Spiritual direction has been reformed again in the last year, but many of us feel it is too little, too late.


  1. When I went to a RC-sponsored girl's summer camp for ages 8-16 in 2001, we were forced to endure "spiritual direction" with a consecrated (not of our choosing) that was essentially (for me anyway) a guilt-trip laden bullying into joining their movement. I was horrified and resentful of the assertion that I was supposed to put any credence or obedience whatsoever into the opinions of a person who did not know me and that I did not choose.

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