by Fr. Kyrill Esposito, OSB
What is Spiritual Direction? What does a spiritual director do, and why should I carve out a space in my already too busy schedule for some “old guy” to tell me how to pray? These are valid questions and come easily to one who has not had the opportunity of participating in the subject discussed. First of all, let’s be very, very clear about what spiritual direction is not… Put aside all fear that the spiritual director is a sort of “drill instructor”, barking orders at you and making demands that are too intrusive of your time and ability. There are those who subscribe to that approach, but they are notoriously without many directees!
A spiritual director is one who primarily listens! He or she needs to be a good listener, not so puffed up with themselves that they cannot hear what someone else has to say. Most often, the meeting with one’s director is a casual conversation, revealing thoughts and just “unloading” to a willing ear. They can also be your confessor should the need arise but it ought to be understood that, stole on or off, all that goes between the director and directees is bound in silence.
The Spiritual Director is also a source for moving one forward in spiritual growth, by means of suggested practices, reading or disciplines. Each person has individual needs, and so there are no “cookie-cutter” formats for them; each relationship is unique and particular. The Director is your support in using their experience on the Spiritual Path to help you walk along the way, as well as, and probably just as importantly, supporting you with their own prayer. The Director would never ask or suggest that you do something they were not doing themselves and in that is the comfort of knowing that when you as the practitioner fall short, there is someone helping you spiritually to continue to fulfill that which you have begun.
It is my great and most humbling honor to be available to the clergy of the Diocese of Quincy in this manner and I hope that you would use me to help yourselves along.
Fr. Kyrill Esposito, OSB firstname.lastname@example.org