The person seeking a spiritual director/mentor should have the following qualities:
- The desire to grow spiritually.
- The intention to assume a life of prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments.
- A willingness to give of self and care generously for others.
- The qualities of honesty, sincerity and transparency are essential in order for the light of truth to shine in our souls.
- A willingness to follow through with what has been offered as counsel and/or practice.
Some ask, “What do I talk about?” Anything can be a topic of conversation: difficulties in prayer, temptations, struggles with good or evil desires, victories or defeats, noble aspirations, worries, joys, sorrows, defects, and sins. In addition, struggles with work, ministry, family, friends, or social relations are subjects for discussion in spiritual direction.
The fruits obtained from spiritual direction/mentorship depend significantly on personal disposition, cooperation with grace and docility to the Holy Spirit of the one being advised. The following are some of the major fruits obtained from spiritual direction/mentorship:
Sincerity — Allows the light of truth to shine in our hearts. Communication and openness create positive habits of truthfulness in our lives.
Docility — The word docility comes from the Latin verb docere, which means “to teach.” It is also the origin of the word disciple. The fruit of docility enables us to be open and flexible with a competent director/mentor who cooperates with the grace and light of the Holy Spirit and helps us transform more and more into the likeness of Christ. “It is no longer I but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20.)
Humility — St. Augustine said the three virtues necessary for growth in holiness are humility, humility, and humility. Pride is contrary and destructive to the work of God. Jesus teaches, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5) A trick of the devil is to convince us to seek wise counsel only after we have solved the problem ourselves. The devil tries to assure us that the director/mentor has nothing new to share because we know best about our past experiences and miseries. This is the foolish voice of pride and a sure way to take the wrong path into the waiting clutches of the devil. The devil flees from a humble heart.
Perseverance —Tests our resolve to follow Christ. It is pleasing to God and gives us strength. “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Mt 10:22.) Perseverance can only be exercised in weakness! Without weakness and failure, there is no need to persevere. But St. Paul says, “… for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10.)
Next Time — Apostolate of caring for the souls of others