The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

Thomas Merton on Spiritual Direction

Thomas Merton on Spiritual Direction (thanks to Alan Creech)
Spiritual direction is not merely the cumulative effect of encouragements and admonitions which we all need in order to live up to our state in life. It is not mere ethical, social or psychological guidance. It is spiritual.

But it is important for us to understand what this word “spiritual” means here. There is a temptation to think that spiritual direction is the guidance of one’s spiritual activities, considered as a small part of department of one’s life. You go to a spiritual director to have him take care of your spirit, the way you go to a dentist to have him take care of your teeth, or to a barber to get a haircut. This is completely false.

The spiritual director is concerned with the whole person, for the spiritual life is not just the life of the mind, or of the affections, or of the “summit of the soul” ? it is the life of the whole person. For the spiritual man (pneumatikos) is one whose whole life, in all its aspects and all its activities, has been spiritualized by the action of the Holy Spirit, whether through the sacraments or by personal and interior inspirations. Moreover, spiritual direction is concerned with the whole person not simply as an individual human being, but as a son of God, another Christ, seeking to recover the perfect likeness to God in Christ, by the Spirit of Christ.

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May 21, 2003 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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