I have been a Certified Spiritual Director since 2010. Early on I had a Pastor at my parish who was very amenable to my advertising in the parish bulletin, and extremely supportive of my vocation as a Spiritual Director. I built an office for meeting with directees in my home and had sometimes three and four directees at a time. I loved doing one on one direction.
In the last few years, that has not been the case. I no longer have the same relationship with my current pastor. I am not good at self-promotion and struggle to find one directee at a time. For years I was depressed at not having an outlet for a vocation that I felt really called to so strongly.
It wasn’t until I had a spiritual awakening in Italy a year ago that I realized that it should not matter to me if I had one or fifty directees, I should find a way to use my gifts for spiritual direction no matter where I am. God has gifted me with so much and I was using none of those gifts because they were not being used the way I thought they should be used. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Thomas Green SJ calls that being willing to work for God, so long as it is in an advisory capacity.
I came back from Itlay reenergized, and willing to go where God sent me to do what God wanted me to do. I went to work at a small Classical Catholic School. teaching middle school religion. Often, there are ways for me to share my gifts there with the students and teachers. It is a very organic way of sharing spiritual direction, being open to moments when people need a listening ear or a moment of encouragement and being willing to step out in faith and offer it.
Also, I have found many ways to share my gifts with others through Social Media. I have had a Spiritual Direction Facebook page for a few years. I am exploring new ways to use it to reach people. I also remain open to being the listening ear wherever the Holy Spirit allows me to share it.
Just last week I was in a meeting with my financial advisor who is a new grandfather. We had a discussion about how profound the birth of his granddaughter was in his life and how much he wants to savor it but because of the type of work he does he struggles with staying “in the moment”. I was able to share with him some techniques that we use in spiritual direction to practice the present moment: to savor that moment we are in, and to be able to recapture that moment again when we have moved on from it. He was very appreciative of my help.
So while I may not be meeting with directees in my home office anymore, I am using my spiritual direction training in God’s service. My vocation is alive and well, it has simply morphed into a new and exciting direction.