Pope Benedict on Spiritual Direction

What does Pope Benedict XVI think about spiritual direction?
  • The Church has always recommended spiritual direction
  • Spiritual direction is for every Catholic who desires to live out their baptism
  • Those who are called into a substantive relationship with Christ need a spiritual director
  • A spiritual director can help the directee avoid self-deception and the limits of their own wisdom/experience
  • A spiritual director who intimately knows and loves Christ can help the directee to achieve that same love and intimacy

Here’s the complete quote about Spiritual Direction from Pope Benedict’s address to the Teresianum on May 19th 2011:

As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord closely, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ. Everyone, in fact, and in a particular way all those who have received the divine call to a closer following, needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God. A guide can help defend oneself from facile subjectivist interpretations, making available his own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus. [Spiritual direction] is a matter of establishing that same personal relationship that the Lord had with his disciples, that special bond with which he led them, following him, to embrace the will of the Father (cf. Luke 22:42), that is, to embrace the cross.

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