As I continue to go on my happy evangelizing way, inspiring people with God’s grace to live the Gospel in whatever city or town that I am called, I am often met with similar responses.
One of those is the question as to how one can find a spiritual director. And usually what is meant, is someone who can guide a soul among spiritually dangerous paths, assist with discernment when life throws many good options in front of us, and of course, till our often brittle soil so that we might just bear some good fruit with the time we have left.
The answer I have to that very good question however, quite seldom brings consolation. “It is terribly difficult to find one,” is what I normally say, and not because they are all in hiding. The problem as I see it is an economic one, and it is called supply and demand.
Put plainly, because few are asking for spiritual directors, few are around. Sure, the desire for a spiritual director has been made known to me and others who do work in evangelization but we are not the ones who call, equip and assign the members of the Body of Christ to become spiritual directors.
Just imagine that a parish priest continually found that his people yearned for longer time in the confessional, to receive the grace of the sacrament but also the wisdom of the Church. And just imagine that he could not give them what they need either from lack of time or lack of training. What would he do? Most priests, I assume, would sooner or later make their problems known to the Bishop.
Now just imagine if a Bishop heard on an ongoing basis that people in his diocese really desired a greater, more personal form of spiritual formation. Just imagine that his priests were asking for help in the confessional, and the laity for more opportunities for spiritual growth. Just imagine if that Bishop heard about this a couple of times a month from different souls under his spiritual care. What do you think he would do?
Most, I have no doubt, would tend to their flock. They would find spiritual directors, equip spiritual directors, and encourage spiritual directors to take root and flourish in their diocese.
What is the point of all of this?
It is to say that if you really want one then you need to ask. Not just once but often, because hey, it’s a matter of economics.
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