spiritual direction - a guide

i love the internet. it is a seemingly endless source of information. one of the things i am pursuing right now is a deeper spirituality - i found a pretty interesting website, but cannot say i am in full agreement with what i am reading on it. i am interested in pursuing a spiritual director, and in an effort to ready myself once i find one (i mean, i love my monsignor as my confessor, but i doubt at his age, he has the time to listen to my endless questions...), have decided to display some of what this site is saying and answer with comments and questions...

upon further inspection, i originally thought i'd put this in my prayer blog, but since i have more visitors in my main blog, thought i'd list some of the requirements of their "Psychological Healing in the Roman Catholic Mystic Tradition," and put it out here for discussion, if anyone wishes.

Spiritual Direction

There are four basic requirements of the spiritual healing process: prayer, abstinence from defenses, charity, and self-encounter.

1. During the course of the work, the basis of your emotional stability will be prayer.

On a daily basis, keep, at a minimum, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.

If you have a family, pray the Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer each day as a family activity, to the extent possible. i might be able to do this, but to convince my family to do so would be another story entirely.

Every noon, stop work and pray the Angelus. stop work and pray the Angelus... sorry, guys - i can't help you at the register or bus tables, i am praying. be back in 15...

Pray at least five decades of the Rosary every day. i already do this. i am good on this one.

If you have a family, pray the Rosary every evening after dinner with your family, in lieu of watching television. okay, i like most of this and may even be able to employ some of it. quite honestly, though - spiritual direction is a very personal thing; i am certain if i asked my husband to pray the rosary with me after dinner in lieu of watching the simpsons...uh, i don't really know how well that'd go over.

Attend Mass every Sunday, if not more often, and on every holy day of obligation and on every Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. i am a daily mass attendee, so this i have covered. (thank you, Lord)

If you have a family, read the Scriptural texts for the next day’s Mass each evening as a family activity. Spend time reflecting on the meaning of the texts. If you need help interpreting the texts, then use the book A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture as described on the Reading the Bible page of this website. Use the Online Lectionary for Mass, for any day of the current month, on the NCCB website, to find the proper texts. my family says grace at restaurants before meals. that is as close the a daily scripture study as a family activity as we will get. in the course of doing my homework for my formal bible study, i will share interesting things i come across...again, however, this is my spiritual journey and as much as i enjoy sharing the Word, it isn't always received with the enthusiasm as i would desire it to be. no offense to my family. they are who they are. (okay, i'm done on this subject prior to going on the defensive...)

Pray always for all the poor souls in danger of hell who have no one to pray for them. did that at mass the entire month of november. will hopefully remember to do so still, today. pray for my dad *just in case* every day, without fail, for almost 3 years now...

i really don't want to come across as being sarcastic. i really wish to elevate to a higher level of spirituality, but i guess i can't get out of my own way. this is only the first paragraph of requirements...i've not even gotten to the "don't watch sports" section or "no more diet coke, penni" part yet. am i that far off of the mark?

how do you incorporate a higher level of spirituality in your every day life?


Null said...

Wow. I wonder if there would be any time in the day left for living.

Julie D. said...

Let's see ... I have to say that I totally identify with the problem of getting my family to buy into the stuff. Maybe Hannah, less possibly Rose (although she might surprise me), Tom would be very unlikely. Personally, I try to pray the offices of the Liturgy of the Hours from The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle (about 25 minutes total time spread throughout the day). Sometimes I remember to do all 4, usually I get at least 2 done. I'm very spotty on the Rosary and know I need to do better but ... well, we all have struggles and that is one of mine. I usually think doing the Angelus would be nice but I figure the Midday Office covers that time (although not Mary, I know).

That daily Rosary with the family always sounds good (see above comments about family participation). I sometimes wonder if we just did a decade a day after our evening 1/2 hour of Simpsons and before getting ready for bed. Hmmmm, I'm gonna think about that.

Kalanna said...

Big time admission here - I am the worst at regular prayer. The best I ever was at it was in university - I went to daily Mass and said a Rosary as well, but since since being married, it has all seemed impossible. If you read my blog, the things I write are usually things I live and pray. I am definitely not saying that set prayers are bad. I love the liturgy of the hours and everything. Its just hard. I struggle, but what I think I do do right is hold things in my heart, let them live in my hands as I wash dishes, and then come out when the inspiration strikes on the blog. I hope someone gets it. I hope one day I can be faithful at prayer too.

~m2~ said...

i love you girls for your transparency.

i own an entire set (4 books) of the liturgy of the hours. i would love to learn how to pray them. any suggestions?

i also own a Christian prayer book, given to me by my friend Fr. Dan (met while he was a seminarian - what an awesome man of God, but i digress). i have great intentions and then i don't konw what happens. life, right?

so just pondering the first requirement of prayer, i am seeing where i have extreme deficits. i am admittedly anxious about the other *requirements* - here's my struggle:

* shall i get my hair done red prior to reading said requirements or after?
* if they are telling me (i know, i am jumping ahead) that i cannot drink colas any longer, would that lean you toward keeping the roots growing in (along with the grey, tyvm) and then worrying about whether my piety would be called into question because i wear victoria's secret undergarments?

these are the things i worry about. my God. is it any wonder i blog?

Kalanna said...

Forgot to mention that I do have a spiritual director and I'm very glad. He's just right for the knock over the head or the healing prayer that I need.

Hm, on the hair front, I color. I do it because I'm not yet thirty. I just have to! about cola and victoria secret, it's all in the moderation and motivation. we have to buy panties. we just do! and if you happen to like those best... direction does help with these things. my director - don't know if all are this way - tends to put all these little questions into one big perspective that I haven't been able to see, helping me to make these choices as they come. :)

Julie D. said...

That's what I LOVE about Catholicism ... they leave all that little stuff up to you as long as you can handle it (drinking, dying your hair, eating chocolate ... who cares as long as it's not taking the place of God). SO DYE IT RED ... WOOHOO ... LIVE IT UP, GIRL ... and then put a picture up so we can see it. :-)

P.S. If that site gets down to that level of detail (and I hope all the prayer stuff was recommended not required by them) then dump it. :-)

veronica said...

Mr. O drives me to prayer every day. So do my children. You can guess why they drive me to prayer. Is that bad? I'm thinking, as long as I get there, (to prayer) it can't be bad.
I always wanted red hair...
I love pretty underwear. (That's the only part of me that doesn't have snot and spit-up by the end of the day). Go big or go home. That's what I say. (like a twisted take on Rev. 3:15.) God will know you by your faithfulness and works! (not by your red hair!)

~m2~ said...

oh veronica - i like your thinking!!

furthering your take on rev. 3:15: So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

would any of us wish to be spat out of His mouth? oh, i shudder to think.

my stream of consciousness sometimes has me grouping such thoughts as prayer and undergarments in the same breath. please forgive me, i tend to have abstract thoughts.

it is a bit scary it is to think, however, that i am actually understood, even tangentially.

wow. welcome to blogdom :)