What is spiritual direction?

The purpose in a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out - Book of Proverbs 20:5

 

Definition

Spiritual direction can be defined as “help given by one Christian to another which enables that person to pay attention to God’s personal communication to him or her, to respond to this personally communicating God, to grow in intimacy with this God, and to live out the consequences of the relationship.” (From The Practice of Spiritual Direction by William Barry and William Connolly, 1982.)

Desire

The desire behind those who seek spiritual direction is to give caring attention to their relationship with God, accompanied by the prayerful presence of someone who helps them listen well to God.

What does it involve?

This practice is considered a spiritual discipline in Christian tradition. It includes some of the following features:

  • Entering in an intentional and regular relationship that fosters union with God.

  • Opening your prayer life and experience of God to another for the sake of shared listening.

  • Listening to your life and the desires God has placed in your heart.

  • Letting the Spirit set the direction of the conversation.

  • Living by what God is saying to you.

  • Allowing another set of eyes and ears to help you interpret your experiences and the voice of God.

What will it produce?

The God-given fruit we hope to bear of the practice of spiritual direction includes:

  • Walking with a companion who can help you hold your soul before God.

  • Noticing your experiences of God.

  • Attending to and recognizing God’s voice in your life.

  • Mending the split between your head and your heart.

  • Fostering deeper union with God.

  • Growing in prayer.

  • Learning to better discern the Holy Spirit’s movements in decisions you make.

  • Finding Jesus in the wounds as well as the joys of life.

  • Receiving deeper inner-healing.

(Adapted from Spiritual Disciplines Handbook - Practices That Transform Us from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, 2009.)

Do you want to know more?

To know more about Spiritual direction, you can visit the following the Grafted Life Ministries (Evangelical Spiritual Directors Association) website - About spiritual direction. Or review the bool Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction by Margaret Guenther, 2012. 

"Spiritual direction takes place when two people agree to give their full attention to what God is doing in one (or both) of their lives and seek to respond in faith ... whether planned or unplanned, three convictions underpin these meetings: (1) God is always doing something: an active grace is shaping this life into a mature salvation; (2) responding to God is not sheer guesswork: the Christian community has acquired wisdom through the centuries that provides guidance; and (3) each soul is unique: no wisdom can simply be applied without discerning the particulars of this life, this situation." - Eugene Peterson.

My approach to Spiritual Direction

My approach to spiritual direction has a strong contemplative influence, which means that I will encourage you to do a lot of listening, paying attention, and being present to God in the normal and everyday events of your life. My hope is that through each conversation you will be able to see more clearly God in God, God in you, God in others, and God in your world. I believe that there is no time without God, no place without God, and no space without God. So most of our effort to encounter God is done as we learn to pay attention. I also believe that God is more interested than any of us in becoming our True Director, so my task during a direction conversation is one of companionship and holder of a safe and open space hoping for God to fill it.

I have been also practicing spiritual formation coaching through Faithwalking for many years, and I am a trained profesional counselor. However, if our conversation takes place in a mutually agreed context of spiritual companionship, I won’t be your counselor or your coach. Only your companion.

 

I facilitate spiritual companionship conversations in person, on the phone, or through video conference. If you are interested, I encourage you to set a first one-hour conversation with me (first consultation) so we can get to know one another and discern together if we are a good fit for each other and if spiritual direction is what you are looking for in this season of your life. If that is the case, we will then set a rhythm for future conversations (one-hour long, once or twice a month) and an agreement about the length of the companionship relationship. All of this will be done in prayerful dialogue and can be modified if we are led to do so. 

Spiritual companionship is a privilege for both. The first consultation has no charge. I charge a fee for the following sessions. Don’t hesitate to schedule an initial conversation with me if you feel led to do it. If finances are a problem, I would love to talk with you and then pray and discern for God’s direction regarding the situation. It will be my privilege to meet you.

 

If you want to schedule a conversation, please use this link or contact me if you have any questions. I am fluent in both English and Spanish.

Spiritual Direction is offered in person or through video conference.

Primary locations for in-person sessions are:

3323 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005

23598 Hickory Dr. Porter, TX 77365

Please email or text for information and availability.

Video conference appointments are offered via Zoom. To use Zoom you will need a computer with video conference capabilities and reliable connection to the internet. The use of earphones and microphone (like those available for most smart phones) is recommended. This is a short video with useful information. For more information about Zoom, click here.

Prior the first session, you will be invited to complete a "first time examen," it is not a requirement but a helpful tool to prepare you and your director for the session. In the same way, for returning sessions, you are invited to complete the "examen." See both links below.

©2018 by Marcos Leon