What is “Spiritual Direction” particularly as far as Catholics are concerned? It can be said that three standing assumptions to undergo the said practice are any one or all of the following: One, there is a major question to answer or a big decision to make which requires a special inspiration and much needed guidance from God. Two, there is someone with the well felt need of giving the answer to a question and eventually making the decision primarily through the inspiration of God Who helps those pleading for enlightenment specially in conjunction with delicate and/or taxing human agenda to undertake or not, to face and how. Three, there is the much felt trust in someone special and thus perceived to be distinctly gifted in giving the needed enlightenment on account of his/her special closeness to the Good Lord Who finds the same much willing to listen.
On the matter of “Spiritual Direction” itself, strictly speaking, it is meant to give someone the inspiration of the way to take, to follow and act accordingly. It is intended for Christian believers in particular, to know what to do or avoid, what to promote or do away with – all with the inspiration and help of God. So is it that even Priests and Sisters, even Bishops and the Pope himself , have their own respective Spiritual Directors to help them see or know what they should seek or abandon, what they should do or avoid from so doing – all in the light or guidance of God the Holy Spirit. Woe to those who seek or abandon, what they should do or avoid from so doing – all in the light or guidance of God the Holy Spirit. Woe to those who seek advice and/or direction but from the so-called “Manghuhula” for a fee, to look for guidance from those said to have a “Third Eye” for stipend. More often than not, such could be the picture of the “Blind leading a blind” – with both possibly ending in a canal, so to speak.
Recently, it made news when someone now quite well-known or famous was said to have gone to a Carmelite Monastery in a given place and sought guidance from a certain – likewise rather well-known – Sister. Reason: The former wanted to seek advice from the latter – in addition to asking for prayers – in view of a highly significant matter the said individual has to decide upon in due time. The eventual decision made would have a profound relevance and wide impact on a big number of people in the Country.
Usually mentioned as rationale for seeking Spiritual Direction specially from a rather well-known God-oriented individual are one or all of the following: One, there is a question demanding a response that is not only serious but also difficult to answer. Two, the individual thus concerned seeks God’s inspiration for him or her to be duly guided in making the right decision. Three, the person concerned sincerely wants to know what is the Will – the plan, the design and desire – of God for him or her.
Caution: It is not a secret that in the time past, a good number of also rather well-known individuals went to the said place and spoke to the same Sister supposedly to seek “Spiritual Direction”. But it has been established in the past that such a sublime intention apparently took place merely because the person concerned had nowhere else to go and simply because the other individual involved ought some self-advertisement. If such were true, then they would eventually be the losers.