What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is a graced time during which two people of faith attune themselves intentionally to the movement of God in their hearts and lives. God is always at the table and is the Prime Director of any spiritual direction session. The person who has been called to and trained for the role of accompanying others on their journey is called a spiritual director. The spiritual director prays for, listens to and asks gentle questions of the directee so that the directee can develop language for and understanding of how God is touching his/her life. In an atmosphere of trust and faith, the directee shares how he/she believes God is inviting him/her to participate in life, how prayer is unfolding in his/her daily routine, and how joys and sorrows seem to be bringing about personal and spiritual growth. The goal for both the directee and director is to grow closer in friendship with God and thereby be better prepared to help build God’s kingdom on earth.
What Does a Spiritual Direction Session Look Like?
When one begins a relationship with a spiritual director, it is helpful to share one’s spiritual journey thus far, to reflect on and share “Who is God for you?”, and to share how one prays now. Frequently it takes two to three sessions for the directee and the director to discern whether or not meeting is helpful.
Generally a session would begin with prayer—silent, director led, or directee led, recognizing God’s presence and asking for wisdom. The conversation then turns to how God might be very present in the life of the directee, or seemingly absent. What is happening in life that seems particularly graced? What feels challenging, and where is God in that challenge? What does one seek from God at this time? How is prayer going? What often emerges is the gift of having experience received with reverence, a feeling of being accompanied on one’s journey, healing, insight, desire to pray more or differently, and key questions to ponder further.
Other frequently asked questions:
- How often does one meet with one’s spiritual director?
Very often the meetings take place once each month. If there is a special need, a directee might request an additional meeting.
- Is there a fee?
Many spiritual directors are compensated for their time. Fees can range from $0 to $150 per session. Feel free to ask a director about this. Lynn Ann offers her ministry free of charge to St. Gabriel Parishioners.
- I might have a few more questions? OR How do I get started?
Please email or call Lynn Ann Reesman at [email protected] or 262-674-1027
- What if the director doesn’t feel like a “good match”? How do I find another one?
The John Paul II Center has a list of directors on their website: http://www.johnpaul2center.org/Lay-Formation/Spiritual-Direction-Directors.htm. Spiritual Directors International also has a Seekers Guide that can be found at: http://www.sdiworld.org/seekers
Who Is Lynn Ann Reesman?
I recall a time amidst the bustle of family life while raising 6 children who were all born within ten years, a time when my husband was working scores of overtime hours, feeling just overwhelmed. A friend and I went out for a walk. While I loved our children dearly, I still whined about the endless laundry, the thankless task of making meals, the challenge to keep up with the carpooling, the clutter of clothes and toys that seemed to magically reappear within a short time of a major “pick up,” and the loneliness of feeling so separated from meaningful conversation with other adults. When I finally fell silent, my friend turned to me and asked, “Who are you?” Instantly, without hesitation or premeditation, I blurted out, “I am a child of God.”
To this day I am convinced the Spirit of Grace used my voice to name my truth through that simple statement. A wave of relief swept over me. A surge of energy filled me. I had a Savior, Christ Jesus. I didn’t need to be one. My adult spiritual journey, built on the foundation of faithful Catholic family of origin, education in Catholic schools, and involvement in parish life became deeply intentional and especially blessed from that moment on.
Credentials and Experience
*Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Elementary Education from Marquette University
*Master’s Degree in Reading/Language Arts from Cardinal Stritch University
*Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from St. Francis Seminary
*Master’s Degree in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University
*Certificate in Spiritual Direction and Directed Retreats from Creighton University
*Elementary Teacher/Reading Specialist/School Principal
*Director of Adult Ministry, St. Gabriel Parish
*Spiritual Directee since 1989
*Spiritual Director since 2000
*Directed and Preached Retreat Director since 2004
Parish Council Retreats
Days of Reflection
Watercolor & Prayer Retreats