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Spiritual Direction Provided at Loyola

canoe on a calm river“Trust in the slow work of God,” said the great mystical theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.  Spiritual direction is an ongoing relationship that gives us the time and space to notice our unique spiritual growth, the slow work of God, on our river of life.

What are the ordinary and extraordinary spiritual moments in my daily life, and how do I respond to them?  Spiritual direction provides a space to listen to and understand these moments.  They may feel like inner promptings or yearnings, a sense of being called to something greater, a desire to explore persistent questions.  Events in our lives may be leading us to deeper reflection on our path forward.  How is the Divine present in what is happening?

When we take the time to explore and really listen, with a trusted companion, we open ourselves to wisdom, healing and growth.

Spiritual direction has been part of the Christian tradition since people sought the wisdom of the desert monastics in the 3rd and 4th centuries.  Today, people from many spiritual traditions come to Loyola, as well as those from no tradition.  We welcome all!

What happens in a Spiritual Direction Session?

Spiritual direction is an opportunity to speak about life in an intimate way: the quality of our relationships, our attitude toward work or career, our hopes and worries, struggles and goals, joyful memories and regrets.  In all of this, the focus is on our spiritual experience–the thoughts, feelings and inspirations which come to us as we consciously face these areas of life.

Spiritual direction is a safe and open space to explore our relationship to sources of meaning and purpose in life: our relationship to God, or Higher Power, our soul, our best self, our community or loved ones.

With our spiritual director we can look at ways to connect with God or our higher self through spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, rituals, interacting with nature, or in the living of daily life.

Other important aspects of Spiritual Direction:
  • Discernment: to discuss how our choices align with our spiritual values or our sense of God’s invitation to grow.
  • Resources: referral to classes, books, workshops.
  • Grounding: regular sessions invite a remembering and awareness of the sacred foundations of one’s life.

How do I begin?

Begin by reading the biographical summaries of our spiritual directors.  You may contact one or more of them via phone or email to arrange an initial meeting.  During your first meeting you can discuss your needs and concerns and explore the director’s approach.

How often does one come for Spiritual Direction?

Appointments are usually scheduled once a month for 50-60 minutes. Since it is a spiritual process, the relationship lasts as long as you and the director find it nourishing.

What is the cost for Spiritual Direction?

Our suggested fee is $85 for an individual session.  If you cannot afford that amount, you may discern with your director an amount that works for you.  Any amount given over the suggested fee goes toward our scholarship fund, which benefits those who cannot afford the asking fee.  Read more about our Liz Kerwin Scholarship Fund.

Click here to find a spiritual director.

How is Spiritual Direction different from Therapy?

In therapy, the focus is on finding a treatment or a therapy. In spiritual direction, the issues discussed may be the same, but the focus is on how you see God or Spirit present in them, how you are growing spiritually through them. Spiritual direction fosters a contemplative attitude which is always alert to the presence of God in all things.

“Trust in the slow work of God,” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.  We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay.  

We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new.  

And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time.  

And so I think it is with you.  Your ideas mature gradually—let them grow, let them shape themselves without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be.  Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.

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