Dan Burke is an award-winning author, writer, and speaker on Catholic spirituality. He has written and/or edited nine books on faithful Catholic spirituality and is the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc. Dan is the president of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and the creator of Divine Intimacy Radio and SpiritualDirection.com.
Spiritual direction is a relationship through which we come to better know, love, and follow Christ through the help of a kind of spiritual coach. It is a process through which we come to know and love Christ and ultimately experience the heights of spiritual union with Him, even in this life. The director and directee work together, through the grace and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to understand God's will, and then determine how to follow that leading in a concrete way on a day-to-day basis, into a deeper intimacy with Him.
This definition is how I began my book Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux famously said, “He who constitutes himself his own spiritual director is the disciple of a fool.” Why would a saint known for his gentleness make such a harsh statement?
It is because he saw many good souls get stuck spiritually.
He also lamented once that many who make initial progress in the interior life get stuck and very few make it past the most basic progress. St. John of the Cross also reveals in his writings that very few gain the great graces of the life that God desires to give them because they don’t understand the spiritual life.
The good news is that God has provided all we need to gain every grace He intends for us. Beyond the sacraments and prayer, there is no more powerful tool than spiritual direction.
On July 11, I will continue the discussion about spiritual direction, specifically in the area of understanding spiritual direction and finding a director so that you can thrive in the relationship.
Join me in this webinar on July 11, 11 AM Eastern, to learn what spiritual direction is, how you can engage in it, and, if you are engaged, how you can get more out of this powerful gift of the Church. Click here to register.