Spiritual Direction At a Distance

Spiritual Direction At a Distance

While in person spiritual direction is often preferable, sometimes circumstances dictate that spiritual direction needs to be sought and received at a physical distance from the spiritual director.

As a director, I have been giving directee at a distance for more than three years—over the phone, via Skype (web cam) and in letters.

Sometimes spiritual direction at a distance is necessary because there are no directors within your community. Sometimes it is necessary because you are in a position of leadership and going outside of your community is necessary for you to feel safe and honored. Sometimes spiritual direction at a distance happens because family obligations necessitate staying near the home, or because of finances.

All of the reasons for seeking spiritual direction at a distance are valid and worth honoring. All of them are a cause for prayer and discernment.

Part of the discernment process around seeking spiritual direction at a distance also involves discovering whether or not you will be able to create an environment—in your home, in your office, or elsewhere—that is conducive to contemplation and holy listening.

If at your computer: Are you willing to close all of the other programs you may have running and devote your entire attention to the session? Can you clear your desk of clutter and allow the space that is traditionally used for work or networking to become holy ground? Can you quiet yourself in front of technology?

If on the phone: Are you comfortable with silences when you are not physically present to the other person? Are you willing to work through the things God brings up in regards to this? Can you find a place that you have good phone reception that will also leave you undisturbed and able to relax?

These are a few questions to consider when seeking spiritual direction at a distance. While it is more convenient (you don’t have to leave your home and drive anywhere, sessions can take place in the comfort of a familiar space, the time that it takes is shortened by dint of the fact that travel is unnecessary), spiritual direction at a distance requires you to create holy space in your home and be intentional about owning the journey that you are on. This requirement offers great hope and opportunity for growth, and at the same time requires discipline.

If you’re interested in learning more about spiritual direction at a distance, please feel free to contact me.

If you’d like to learn more about my requirements of directees at a distance, you can download Spiritual Direction At A Distance.

May your path, be it near or far, be blessed today.