Jun 27, 2015
Is spiritual direction intended only for a small elite group composed of clergy and nuns and a handful of laity with special vocations? Not really. Direction is for serious Christians generally, whether cleric, religious, or lay. But since that is seldom said these days, it needs explaining. Here goes.
Spiritual direction can be described many ways, but the best way is to emphasize its role in helping people see, accept, and live out God's will in their lives. Speaking specifically of the laity, Pope St. John Paul II says the "fundamental objective" of their formation is "ever-clearer discovery of one's vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one's mission." Spiritual direction is a big help in that.
As the quote above (from St. John Paul's landmark document on the laity, Christifideles Laici) makes clear, everybody has a personal vocation. It's his or her unique role in accomplishing God's redemptive plan through the life of "good works" which, as the letter to the Ephesians says, "God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Eph 2.10).
Spiritual direction doesn't give you a personal vocation. The vocation is already there. But direction assists people in discerning their vocations and carrying them out.