The basis for spiritual direction
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of
his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
We have already talked about how your heart is the temple of the Lord; His chosen
dwelling place. And we talked about how His Love, Joy, and Peace flow out of
your heart. But there's more.....
There are seven spirits before the throne
of God, and just by coincidence, Jesus is filled with the fullness of seven
spirits. They are the spirit of the LORD, and the Spirits of wisdom, understanding,
counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the LORD. Jesus brings these seven
spirits into your heart along with Himself when He takes up residence there,
and He gifts you as He will.
Here's an example of how it works. '...Then opened
he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures' (Luke 24:44-45)
So Jesus opens your understanding. More properly, Jesus lends you His Spirit of understanding.
Here's another example closer to home; one that Fr_Paul will appreciate. The
Spirit of Counsel enables us to make healthy moral choices, both for ourselves
and to help others do the same. Whenever I meet counselors, more often than
not, within the first few sentences, they like to impress me with their credentials.
Very few, two to my remembrance, volunteer that Jesus is the final counseling
authority. I'm sure you know someone who has the gift of counsel.. Someone you
are drawn to when you have a dilemma and you need someone to talk it out with
. And you may know someone that lots of people are drawn to. I met someone the
other day (I can't remember her name), who is a nurse by day, but she said people
are continually asking her to do hospice counseling.. Its likely she has the
Spirit of Counsel.
Do you like paradox? contradiction? Scripture says that the
Lord has given us pastor/teachers; and then turns right around and says 'let
no man be your teacher'. To an earth-dweller - someone who dwells in the
mind of logic and reason - this is a contradiction. But to the mind in your
heart, there is no contradiction. Both these things can be true at the same
Doctors of the Church
have defined infused knowledge as 'stuff you
know without reading or hearing about it' (my words, not theirs). So the Spirit
infuses knowledge into your heart, then when you read or hear it, you resonate
to it. If you will permit me some speculation... I never met two of the Lord's
children that agreed on everything. But I think that's what the Lord has for
us in His long term plan. I was reading Julian of Norwich a while ago and she
said that she did not want to know anything except what the Lord wanted her
to know. That if she even wondered to herself about the wellbeing of a friend,
that she fell out of the will of the Lord!! So Julian desired to offer her mind
to the Lord completely. For His exclusive use!
The point is this.. The Lord has gifted you.. But to access
that gift, you have to be still and listen with the ears of your heart. His
voice is a still small voice, and you can't hear it if your mind is full of
your own thoughts. Spiritual direction - spiritual friendship - is designed
to help you hear His Voice. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
So how do you tell the difference between the thoughts of your head and the
thoughts of your heart?? By being mindful. By paying attention. By making
lots of mistakes. And by casting yourself continually on the Mercy of the
Lord. I've noticed in my own life (which may or may not apply to you) if I
keep my mind in the present moment, it's a lot easier to be still and listen.
That means whenever I catch myself rehearsing some past event, or wondering
about a future event, I bring myself back to right here. Right now. If your
style allows you to journal or graph your performance (mine doesn't), you
might want to track the number of times you catch your mind in the past or
Disengage your rational mind. Get into the mind of your heart. Locate His
presence. Rest in His Love. Stay there. If any thoughts distract you, look
over their shoulder and relocate His presence. Repeat as needed.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you,
and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth
you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught
you, ye shall abide in him.
Isaiah 11:1-3 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,
and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall
rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel
and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall
make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not
judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his
1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1 Corinthians 12:1-8 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not
have you ignorant.... For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom;
to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the
same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another
the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;
to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every
man severally as he will.
Galatians 4:6 'And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his
Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father'.... I think He cries out because
of His/our separation from the Father... 'But all these worketh that one and
the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.' I looked up
the word 'severally' thinking it might have something to do with seven.. but
it means 'his own', so this might read 'dividing to every man His own self as
he will'. It must be a little wordplay by the KJV translators.