Spiritual Direction

The best "general" spiritual direction comes from studying the Bible, the inspired word of God and from the official teachings of the Catholic Church such as in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We can also find good spiritual direction from studying the official teachings of the Church such as the Documents of the Church Councils, Papal Encyclicals and the lives and writings of the Saints. (See links.) God's word in Scripture can also be used as a basis for prayer in that we not only read Scripture but we ponder it prayerfully. One technique for doing this is Lectio Divina.

God loves us more than we can imagine and wants us to love him in return above all things, with our whole heart, mind and strength. He even made this the greatest commandment. He wants to have a personal love relationship with us. Spiritual direction is concerned with developing our relationship with God and in discerning how his Holy Spirit is leading us in our lives. Our personal relationship with God not only means following his commandments and will as best as we can but also in developing a person to person love relationship with God in prayer. Our personal prayer is our way of talking with God, both listening to him and talking to him as we would a friend. If we are serious about having a relationship with God we need to take time each day to devote to prayer including some time for just speaking to him from our heart and listening to him as best as we can. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has some really great teachings and general instructions on prayer at this link: http://www.nccbuscc.org/catechism/text/partfour.htm

Some spiritual direction from God's Word

Scripture quotes are from the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible (a Catholic translation that is not under copyright so it can be quoted freely.)

How to be happy:

Psalm 1:1-3: "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence: But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper."

Trust in God:

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence. In all thy ways think on him, and he will direct thy steps."

Psalm 36:3-7 "Trust in the Lord, and do good, and dwell in the land, and thou shalt be fed with its riches. Delight in the Lord, and he will give thee the requests of thy heart. Commit thy way to the Lord, and trust in him, and he will do it. And he will bring forth thy justice as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Be subject to the Lord and pray to him. Envy not the man who prospereth in his way; the man who doth unjust things."

How to have inner peace:

Philippians 4:4-13 "Rejoice in the Lord always: again, I say, rejoice. Let your modesty be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever modest, whatsoever just, whatsoever holy, whatsoever lovely, whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline: think on these things. The things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do ye: and the God of peace shall be with you. Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly that now at length your thought for me hath flourished again, as you did also think; but you were busied. I speak not as it were for want. For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith. I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound (every where and in all things I am instructed): both to be full and to be hungry: both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things in him who strengtheneth me."

Seek God first and all your needs will be taken care of:

Matt: 6:31-34 "Be not solicitous therefore, saying: What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for to morrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."

On prayer:

Matt 6:5-15 "And when ye pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites, that love to stand and pray in the synagogues and corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men: Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret, and thy father who seeth in secret will repay thee. And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him. Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our supersubstantial bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen. For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences."

Matt 6:21-22 "And Jesus answering, said to them: Amen, I say to you, if you shall have faith and stagger not, not only this of the fig tree shall you do, but also if you shall say to this mountain, Take up and cast thyself into the sea, it shall be done. And all things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall receive."

Luke 6:12 "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray: and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God."

Matt. 26:39 "And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt."

James 5:13 "Is any of you sad? Let him pray: Is he cheerful in mind? Let him sing."

Luke 11:1-13 "And it came to pass that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation. And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend and shall go to him at midnight and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer and say: Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asketh receiveth: and he that seeketh findeth: and to him that knocketh it shall be opened: And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? Or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?"






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