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Obedience to a Spiritual Director
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Author:  anawim [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:34 am ]
Post subject:  Obedience to a Spiritual Director

I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

anawim wrote:
I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

I agree. A spiritual director may be an excellent help and give very wise advice, which should be seriously listened to, but I would never allow anyone else to make my decisions for me, ultimately I would think for myself and make my own decision.

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a great Pope who should be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a bad Pope who should not be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

So, clearly, not all spiritual directors should be listened to.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

A spiritual director can have that authority, especially when helping us in areas where we know we struggle.

Author:  Light of the East [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Denise Dee wrote:
anawim wrote:
I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

I agree. A spiritual director may be an excellent help and give very wise advice, which should be seriously listened to, but I would never allow anyone else to make my decisions for me, ultimately I would think for myself and make my own decision.

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a great Pope who should be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a bad Pope who should not be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

So, clearly, not all spiritual directors should be listened to.


A spiritual director is to be listened to and obeyed, not just because of authority, but because you have trusted that God works and speaks through him. Therefore, it is a sin to be willingly disobedient to that which you are ordered to do, and it is unwise to not follow suggestions.

I beleive Fr. Deacon Elias has my best interests at heart here. Over the last year of our relationship, I have found him to be wise, understanding, and above all, compassionate. I think he is the perfect fit for me. There is a saying in martial arts: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

When the soul is ready, the spiritual director will be sent.

I have waited and prayed a long time for a spiritual director. Why would I not now follow his advice/orders?

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Light of the East wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
anawim wrote:
I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

I agree. A spiritual director may be an excellent help and give very wise advice, which should be seriously listened to, but I would never allow anyone else to make my decisions for me, ultimately I would think for myself and make my own decision.

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a great Pope who should be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a bad Pope who should not be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

So, clearly, not all spiritual directors should be listened to.


A spiritual director is to be listened to and obeyed, not because of authority, but because you have trusted that God works and speaks through him. Therefore, it is a sin to be willingly disobedient to that which you are ordered to do, and it is unwise to not follow suggestions.

I beleive Fr. Deacon Elias has my best interests at heart here. Over the last year of our relationship, I have found him to be wise, understanding, and above all, compassionate. I think he is the perfect fit for me. There is a saying in martial arts: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

When the soul is ready, the spiritual director will be sent.

I have waited and prayed a long time for a spiritual director. Why would I not now follow his advice/orders?

It depends on what you mean by “listened to and obeyed”!

It’s fine to listen carefully to someone you believe is trustworthy and obey what you consider to be wise advice. But it’s not fine to unquestioningly obey anyone. You should not surrender your will to anybody else.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
A spiritual director can have that authority, especially when helping us in areas where we know we struggle.

But not ultimate authority. It’s dangerous to allow anyone to have so much authority over your decisions that you choose to do something which is against your own better judgment.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

One's superior can never command you to sin. But clergy and members of religious orders are bound by a promise to obey the lawful will of a superior.

As far as I know, no one is bound by promise to obey a director, but it is the part of wisdom to do so. A prudent director invokes it only rarely, but if you are not prepared to believe that your director sees things better than you, you have the wrong director.

Death to self-will is an important part of growth in discipleship.

Author:  Mrs. Timmy [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Denise Dee wrote:
Light of the East wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
anawim wrote:
I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

I agree. A spiritual director may be an excellent help and give very wise advice, which should be seriously listened to, but I would never allow anyone else to make my decisions for me, ultimately I would think for myself and make my own decision.

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a great Pope who should be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a bad Pope who should not be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

So, clearly, not all spiritual directors should be listened to.


A spiritual director is to be listened to and obeyed, not because of authority, but because you have trusted that God works and speaks through him. Therefore, it is a sin to be willingly disobedient to that which you are ordered to do, and it is unwise to not follow suggestions.

I beleive Fr. Deacon Elias has my best interests at heart here. Over the last year of our relationship, I have found him to be wise, understanding, and above all, compassionate. I think he is the perfect fit for me. There is a saying in martial arts: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

When the soul is ready, the spiritual director will be sent.

I have waited and prayed a long time for a spiritual director. Why would I not now follow his advice/orders?

It depends on what you mean by “listened to and obeyed”!

It’s fine to listen carefully to someone you believe is trustworthy and obey what you consider to be wise advice. But it’s not fine to unquestioningly obey anyone. You should not surrender your will to anybody else.


Denise, my beloved Brother in Christ is making a concerted effort to grow in his faith and improve what he sees as deficiencies in his life. Your posts are, at best, not helping. They might even be downright harmful.

Cut it out - now.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Light of the East wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
anawim wrote:
I didn't think a spiritual director had that much authority. Maybe it's because you're a deacon. Otherwise, spiritual directors run the gamut of good to bad, just like all of us.

I agree. A spiritual director may be an excellent help and give very wise advice, which should be seriously listened to, but I would never allow anyone else to make my decisions for me, ultimately I would think for myself and make my own decision.

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a great Pope who should be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

If I had a spiritual director who said Pope Francis is a bad Pope who should not be listened to, would that be a good spiritual director?

So, clearly, not all spiritual directors should be listened to.


A spiritual director is to be listened to and obeyed, not because of authority, but because you have trusted that God works and speaks through him. Therefore, it is a sin to be willingly disobedient to that which you are ordered to do, and it is unwise to not follow suggestions.

I beleive Fr. Deacon Elias has my best interests at heart here. Over the last year of our relationship, I have found him to be wise, understanding, and above all, compassionate. I think he is the perfect fit for me. There is a saying in martial arts: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

When the soul is ready, the spiritual director will be sent.

I have waited and prayed a long time for a spiritual director. Why would I not now follow his advice/orders?

It depends on what you mean by “listened to and obeyed”!

It’s fine to listen carefully to someone you believe is trustworthy and obey what you consider to be wise advice. But it’s not fine to unquestioningly obey anyone. You should not surrender your will to anybody else.


Denise, my beloved Brother in Christ is making a concerted effort to grow in his faith and improve what he sees as deficiencies in his life. Your posts are, at best, not helping. They might even be downright harmful.

Cut it out - now.


How could saying: “It’s dangerous to allow anyone to have so much authority over your decisions that you choose to do something which is against your own better judgment” be downright harmful, when that’s Catholic teaching?

Catholic Catechism 1800:
“A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.”

Do you think reading the Catholic Catechism “may be downright harmful”?

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
One's superior can never command you to sin. But clergy and members of religious orders are bound by a promise to obey the lawful will of a superior.



Death to self-will is an important part of growth in discipleship.


Do you not think that may have been one of the factors which enabled the widespread cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church?

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Goodbye to the forum

No. People weren't silent because of promises of obedience. They were silent because of cronyism and intimidation. And I think this particular train of thought has become a cheap copout for too many people.

You are up against 2,000 years of mystical/ascetical theology, whose great teachers uniformly insist on mortification of the will. The one who preaches, "I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul," is not Jesus Christ.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Denise Dee wrote:
How could saying: “It’s dangerous to allow anyone to have so much authority over your decisions that you choose to do something which is against your own better judgment” be downright harmful, when that’s Catholic teaching?

Catholic Catechism 1800:
“A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.”

Do you think reading the Catholic Catechism “may be downright harmful”?

It is not Catholic teaching. Ed has made the decision that his spiritual director is more prudent than he in these areas, and so his spiritual director's judgment is better than his own judgment. Therefore the judgment of his conscience is that he should do what his director says.

Author:  Signum Crucis [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obedience to a Spiritual Director

Denise Dee, let me add to what Mrs Timmy said: KNOCK IT OFF. You may continue the discussion here, but leave Bro. Ed out of it. I've known him for about 20 years now, and he doesn't need what you're dishing out.

Author:  Light of the East [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obedience to a Spiritual Director

Something to remember. We are to follow our properly formed consciences. The whole reason we go to Confession, to Liturgy, listen to our priest's homilies, read the Early Fathers, etc., is to properly form our consciences. Unfortunately, there are a great number of Catholic politicians who are "following their consciences" and yet support abortion and gay "marriage."

In my year with Father Deason Elias, he has never suggested anything that I would consider even remotely questionable. He has taken the time to learn about my past history, my interactions with my family and friends, He is well-trained, wise, and gentle, showing a very loving disposition which I honestly wish I had.

Denise, you may not know this, but the first several months of spiritual direction should be a time where both the director and his disciple are getting a sense of whether or not this is a good fit. There is nothing wrong with either party saying,"I don't think this is working out." It is not blind obedience, but a willing submission based on understanding that you are in a good and holy relationship and a trust that God has led you to your spiritual director.

Unfortunately for the Church, there are multitudes of people who have decided that they are their own spiritual director. This has caused a considerable calamity that the Church is going through now.

Author:  Obi-Wan Kenobi [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obedience to a Spiritual Director

There's also a shortage of people who are good at being directors. I'm very pleased that you found one.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 6:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Obedience to a Spiritual Director

YOU AREN'T HELPING YOURSELF BY ARGUING WITH ME.

SIGNUM CRUCIS
ADMINISTRATOR

Author:  Denise Dee [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You are up against 2,000 years of mystical/ascetical theology, whose great teachers uniformly insist on mortification of the will. The one who preaches, "I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul," is not Jesus Christ.

"Mortification of the will" means surrendering your will to God's will (as far as that's possible), it shouldn't mean surrendering your will to some other human being's will.

You are not the master of my fate: / you are not the captain of my soul, he is not the master of my fate: / he is not the captain of my soul, she is not the master of my fate: / she is not the captain of my soul.

Author:  Jack3 [ Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Death to self-will is an important part of growth in discipleship.

Thank you for this. I really needed to hear it.

I'd be pleased if you explain this a little more, so that I can put this firmly in my mind.

Author:  Gandalf the Grey [ Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You are up against 2,000 years of mystical/ascetical theology, whose great teachers uniformly insist on mortification of the will. The one who preaches, "I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul," is not Jesus Christ.

"Mortification of the will" means surrendering your will to God's will (as far as that's possible), it shouldn't mean surrendering your will to some other human being's will.

You are not the master of my fate: / you are not the captain of my soul, he is not the master of my fate: / he is not the captain of my soul, she is not the master of my fate: / she is not the captain of my soul.


Placing yourself at the submission of those in established authority who you know that are just sinful as you are is itself a deep mark of humility in the eyes of God.

If you resist submitting your will to someone who speaks with God's authority you are in effect resisting God's will and authority.

"He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you not only rejects me, but also him who sent me."(Luke 10:16)

Korah and his followers thought that they "heard" God just as well as Moses and believed that it gave them the right to resist Moses.

It did not end up well for Korah and his followers.

Author:  Denise Dee [ Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Goodbye to the forum

Gandalf the Grey wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
You are up against 2,000 years of mystical/ascetical theology, whose great teachers uniformly insist on mortification of the will. The one who preaches, "I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul," is not Jesus Christ.

"Mortification of the will" means surrendering your will to God's will (as far as that's possible), it shouldn't mean surrendering your will to some other human being's will.

You are not the master of my fate: / you are not the captain of my soul, he is not the master of my fate: / he is not the captain of my soul, she is not the master of my fate: / she is not the captain of my soul.


Placing yourself at the submission of those in established authority who you know that are just sinful as you are is itself a deep mark of humility in the eyes of God.

If you resist submitting your will to someone who speaks with God's authority you are in effect resisting God's will and authority.

Pope Francis is "in established authority", more than anyone, Pope Francis "speaks with God's authority". Yet a lot of people here don't seem too keen on placing themselves at the submission of Pope Francis.

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