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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Should I be looking for another spiritual director?

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Dear Father John, I was wondering if you could give me a bit of perspective. I recently asked a director to help me in my discernment of religious life.  After he agreed I wrote out a summary of the context for my perceived call along with a list of my vices/faults, graces/strengths, etc. The arrangement was that after reading the letter, we would talk, with the idea that I would write emails every week or two, and we would... Read More

Top ten reading list for spiritual directors (Updated – 2013)

Old Books featured

Dan, now that you mention technical books on spiritual theology… I’m wondering what would be your top 10 list of books in that area. I’m especially interested in books that would be helpful for a priest that would like to engage more seriously in spiritual direction, or books that you would recommend to a seminarian or for a seminary course in the area of spiritual direction. I would appreciate your input. Dear... Read More

How should I prepare for a meeting with my spiritual director?

May 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction, The Process

Dear Father John, how should I prepare for a meeting with my spiritual director? Preparation for spiritual direction can be divided into three parts. 1. Remote preparation. Preparing for your next spiritual direction starts during the last moment of your previous spiritual direction. By making a note of the key insights that you received during direction, and by identifying some concrete actions you will work on, you create your... Read More

The Pope’s latest encouragement to mercy and spiritual direction

A recurring theme is emerging in Pope Benedict’s pontificate, the importance of spiritual direction. His latest encouragement of this practice is his most significant. It is a beautiful call for priests to reflect on how to more effectively minister grace and mercy through confession and spiritual direction. This important document comes at a critical time of preparation for World Youth Day and the anticipated work of the... Read More

What if I disagree with my spiritual director about my root sin?

What do you do when you are pretty sure your root sin is pride (based on self-reflection, common sins in confession, etc…) but your spiritual director doesn’t think it is true. Mine keeps telling me I am not proud — but we end up in this weird argument where I assert that I am and he says that my reply is what a humble person would say. And how much does it matter if he agrees with me on that major fault or not?... Read More

How much should I reveal to my spiritual director on my first visit?

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Perspective, Spiritual Direction, The Process


Dear Catholic Spiritual Direction, how much are you supposed to reveal to your spiritual director on your first visit? Are you supposed to go back to your first sin, like a general confession? I have found a priest who is willing to be my spiritual director, and I just want to know how much and how far back should I discuss with him on my first meeting. Great questions! I will address the easy one first. What does your spiritual... Read More

Spiritual direction orientation – it takes time… and patience

Have you ever been in an unfamiliar area and stopped to ask a local for directions only to find that the well intended helper begins to rattle off street names, turns, and landmarks faster than you can blink? Why does this happen? It really is very simple. Our chosen helper is very familiar with the area. He or she is simply working at a pace that makes complete sense to them; though almost none to us. The challenge is that even... Read More

Spiritual Direction Post and Series Index


Dear Friends, To make it easier for you to find key posts on spiritual direction we have updated our Spiritual Direction Index page. As well, we have ordered the posts in a way in keeping with the flow of topics. Click here or go to the upper right hand corner of the site and click on “Spiritual Direction.” Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him, Dan About Dan BurkeDan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction,... Read More

Concern about seeking out and approaching a spiritual director? – Part II – Getting the first meeting set up

December 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Spiritual Direction, The Process

In our first post in this two part series we talked about the challenges and perspectives that can stifle our progress in taking the first step with a spiritual director. Now that you have prayed, read, and followed applicable advice, the next steps are easy. Don’t worry that you are not an expert or that you might forget or fail to handle each aspect of this relationship perfectly. This is not the time for timidity or scrupulosity... Read More

How much of spiritual direction should focus on prayer versus sin and virtue?

Dear Father John, How much of a discussion in spiritual direction should focus on moral issues, such as habitual sin and possibly that of grave matter which may not necessarily be mortal sin? So much discussion here is only about how to pray well, making a program for life, finding a spiritual director and things of that nature. What about living life every day? It seems to me that talking to a spiritual director about lofty things... Read More

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