Faith/Spirituality Forum: My Spiritual Director and I
My Spiritual Director and I QUESTION from Shirley on November 10, 2002 Peace in the Lord Jesus.
Thank you for all you do for the Faith. I pray for your patience and also for your health situation that God will give you strength.
To my question:
I feel that I have been given (by God) a very disciplined, Holy, and obedient to the church Spiritual Director. He can be very firm and also very kind. I need firmness as I can be very childish and stubborn.
My problem is that I don't like to share him with anyone else as I have waited so long to find a spiritual director and one who would answer my questions to the point without a lot of salad dressing which he does. Even though I don't always like to hear what he has to say, and sometimes leave our appt. a bit annoyed, I always find, after prayer and time spent before the Blessed Sacrament, that he is right. I feel that I become, a good part of the time, possessive of my him and I know that this is totally wrong. I just so like to hear what he has to say because I always learn from him and he explains things about the Faith and especially about me that I never would have realized. It's as though I am in love with his mind or something. I have finally been able to come to terms with the fact that I am not all that and not what I thought I was - some great holy woman, chosen specially by God to be a great visionary or something. Like I was right and everyone else was wrong; as if I was the only Catholic in the whole world who knew anything about the Faith when in all actual fact, I knew nothing!!!!!
We meet once a month for one hour and, considering the fact that he is extremely busy (what Priest isn't these days)I should be thankful that I have a once a month meeting at all instead of throwing tantrums when he doesn't get to a question that I have asked via email. I have been told that I act on my emotions and feelings rather than my reason and I guess I would have to agree. I have asked for his forgiveness when I'm disciplined and he always forgives me. Then I go to confession (not to him though)and really try to move forward in a more mature fashion. I find it really difficult to go to confession to him sometimes. I feel that if I completely open up and tell him everything (which is what I'm supposed to be doing anyway) then he will send me to another director and/or become very very firm in which case I would probably want to crawl under the confessional. I can't handle rejection (that's how it would appear to me I think) and might become more despondant then ever.
Sometimes I feel that he needs to be told some things about himself as if I were getting some great message from God or something. Could this be the devil? or my pride?
I do love Jesus VERY VERY VERY VERY much and am trying to live the Christ life because I really want to go to be with HIM someday!
Please excuse the length of my question but if you could give me your opinion as to what might be going on within me I would really appreciate it. I sort of feel like a traitor asking you instead of him but........oh well. (sigh!!!)
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on November 19, 2002 Dear Shirley:
Yes, it is pride for you to dare to give him spiritual direction about himself. I am sure he has a spiritual director.
Your job is to listen to his advise and act on it.
You need to discuss your feelings with him and not work yourself into destroying this relationship.
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