Spiritual Direction is NOT Confession

Spiritual Direction is NOT Confession

Spiritual direction is not synonymous with confession. The challenge with distinguishing spiritual direction from confession usually comes when the modern inquirer reads the saints who talk for post on how spiritual direction is not confessionabout their spiritual director or confessor as if they are one and the same thing. The reason for this is that there was a time when it was very common for confession and spiritual direction to take place together. The challenge of the modern decline in priest-per-parishioner percentage has likely been the unfortunate cause of the separation of the two activities. But spiritual direction has never been the exclusive territory of priests or even religious. As an example, most would be surprised to know that Pope John Paul II, in his youth, had a lay spiritual director. Regardless, at present, confession and spiritual direction are more likely to occur in two separate events.

This is an excerpt from Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here.


What is spiritual direction and my spiritual direction? What are my “blind spots” and how can I uncover them? What keeps me from all the spiritual riches Christ has for me? How can I better understand where I am in my spiritual progress?

Daniel Burke’s Navigating the Interior Life will give you the tools you need to understand how and why we grow and die in the spiritual life and what we can do about it.


Art for this post on spiritual direction is not confession: Christ and Saint Mina [or Menas], iconographer unknown, 6th-century icon from Bawit, Egypt, PD-US author’s life plus 70 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.

Share this post with your friends


Stay Connected

Sign up for our free email newsletter to stay up to date on the latest from SpiritualDirection.com!
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Scroll to Top