How to well choose and to entrust yourself to a Spiritual Director

September 21, 2021 • 3 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 9

But who shall find this man? The wise men answer, “They that fear God:” that is, the humble, who earnestly desire their spiritual advancement.

Since, then, it concerns you so much, Philothea, to go with a good guide on this holy voyage of devotion, beseech God with great fervency to grant you one that may be according to his heart; and doubt not, for he will rather send you an angel from heaven, as He did to young Tobias, than fail to give you a good and faithful guide.

Now, he ought always to be an angel to you: that is to say, when you have found him, consider him not simply as a man; neither confide in him, nor in his human knowledge, but in God, who will favour you by the ministry of this man, and make him think and speak whatsoever shall be requisite for your happiness; so you ought to hear him as an angel descending from heaven to conduct you thither.

Treat him with an open heart, in all sincerity and fidelity, manifesting clearly to him the good and the ill which is in you without fear or dissimulation: and by this means your good shall be tried and more assured, and your ill shall be corrected and amended; you shall be relieved and strengthened in your afflictions, and moderate and even-tempered in your consolations.

Place in him an entire confidence; mixed with holy reverence, in such a way as that the reverence may not diminish the confidence, nor the confidence prejudice the reverence due to him. Confide in him with the respect of a daughter towards her father; respect him with the confidence of a son towards his mother.

In a word, this friendship ought to be firm and sweet, all holy, all sanctified, all divine, and all spiritual.

To this end, choose one amongst a thousand, saith Avila, and I say one amongst ten thousand; for there are fewer than can be imagined who are capable of this office.

He must be full of charity, knowledge, and prudence. If any one of these three qualities is wanting in him there is danger; and therefore, I say again, ask him of God, and having obtained him, bless the Divine Majesty, remain constant, and seek no others, but rather go on with him innocently, humbly, and confidently, for so you will make a most happy voyage.

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