About Indifference

Another word for indifference is freedom. Ignatius says that to make good decisions, we must try to be free from personal preferences, societal expectations, fear of poverty and loneliness, desire for fame and honor, and anything else that stands in the way of the choice that will best serve God and bring us true happiness. These are the “disordered attachments” that Ignatius wants us to be free of. . . . . Usually, it’s quite difficult to sort out the confusing muddle of ordered and disordered attachments that most of us live with. When does a desire to be liked and complimented become abnormal vanity? I need money to live; I have a mortgage and a car that’s breaking down. I’d also like some new clothes, a remodeled kitchen, and a vacation. How much more money do I need? What I am I willing to do to get it? We begin to answer these difficult questions by starting from a position of freedom—detachment from any particular outcome, from other people’s ideas of the good life, from considerations of how someone like you should act.

From God Finds Us by Jim Manney

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is “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.”

Spiritual direction focuses on religious experience. It is concerned with a person’s actual experience of a relationship with God.

Spiritual direction is about a relationship. The religious experience is not isolated, nor does it consist of extraordinary events. It is what happens in an ongoing relationship between the person and God. Most often this is a relationship that is experienced in prayer.

Spiritual direction is a relationship that is going somewhere. God is leading the person to deeper faith and more generous service. The spiritual director asks not just “what is happening?” but “what is moving forward?”

The real spiritual director is God. God touches the human heart directly. The human spiritual director does not “direct” in the sense of giving advice and solving problems. Rather, the director helps a person respond to God’s invitation to a deeper relationship.

From William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction

Additional Resources

Spiritual Exercises in General

The Daily Examen

Discernment


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