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Ten Reasons to Have a Spiritual Director

A Catholic without a spiritual director is like an Olympic athlete without a coach.
by Mary Houser, Consecrated woman | Source: Mater Ecclesiae College

A Catholic without a spiritual director is like an Olympic athlete without a coach.
To be a Catholic means that you are in a race for heaven. It means you’re trying to become a saint, not just to squeak through the pearly gates. 

The race to heaven isn’t a jog in the park; it’s an Olympic marathon.  If we are to finish this race, we need stamina and skill - which is where the coach comes in. 

Any athlete serious about his game will seek out the best coach he can find. And any Catholic serious about holiness would also do well to think about finding a spiritual director. 

Here are a few reasons why. 

1. Show yourself you care. If you care enough about a particular sport to have a coach, why not find one for the much more important game of life?  Going to the effort of finding a spiritual director and having spiritual direction will help you remember not to leave your spiritual life on the back burner.

2. Ask the saints: it’s recommended for holiness.  No one says you can’t get to heaven without one - but the saints agree: having a spiritual director makes it easier to reach holiness.  

3. It’s how God works.  Take one example: St. Paul.  He gets knocked off his horse - and God tells him to wait until Ananias tells him what he should do. God likes to speak to us through other people.  He worked this way all though the Bible and the Church’s history.  He does now too.

4. You’re not a one-man show.  Don’t pretend you can become holy on your own. Show God you rely on his help by allowing him to speak to you through someone else.

5. Constancy.  It’s easy to forget a New Year’s resolution tucked away in a drawer somewhere.  It’s easy to remember a resolution you talked to someone else about and are reminded of every now and then. Sometimes you need someone else to hold you accountable.  

6. You can’t even see the end of your nose. It’s hard to focus on something too close to us (like our noses). Sometimes you’re too close to yourself to be an objective judge of your actions, relationships, and plans.  Since a spiritual director isn’t you, they’re able to see things more objectively and help you see that way too.  With prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, they help you discern what God’s will for you is in the daily circumstances of our life now.  

7. Encouragement.  Living a holy life isn’t easy.  A spiritual director encourages you on this path and helps you keep going. A kind, understanding word can mean the world when you feel like giving up.

8. Expertise.  A good spiritual guide will have some experience in prayer and spiritual life. He or she will be able to give you helpful advice.  And the more they get to know you, the more they can tailor their advice to your particular situation and needs.

9. Peace.  There’s a unique peace that comes from spiritual direction.  Opening your soul to your spiritual director, being known and loved for who you are, and hearing God speak to you through him or her will fill your soul with the confidence and security that only the love of God can bring. 

10. Prayer support.  Don’t underestimate the power of prayer!  Having your spiritual director’s prayers backing you up will help you on your path much more than you’ll ever know!

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Published by: Maria
Date: 2011-01-27 13:18:49
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