Friday, February 16, 2007
I really need a Spiritual Director. I had one for awhile, a very short time, and then that ended...I think it was on God's time.
Lately, though, I have been considering this again. I've been doing a lot of spiritual reading, understanding a great many things, and making strides in the spiritual life; both forward and back. Sometimes it's crushing. Sometimes its exhilerating. Sometimes humbling, sometimes...just plain confusing. And mostly, I'm realizing my backslide even if I'm moving forward. It's completely contradictory.
When I first picked up St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, I had to put it down because it made me face myself. And then I picked it up again and devoured it. And then I read his book, Finding God's Will for You. Just check out my sidebar as it lists the books I've most recently read and which have had a strong impact on me and how I think.
I'm at a crossroads; I need direction. I want to advance in the spiritual life, and yet I don't. I'm comfortable in my chosen sins, but I now am educated in that I recognize I need to break my attachments, both "healthy" and unhealthy. I need to find a better way to focus on God, because I do not love God enough.
And you know what's really hard? Although I need and desire a Spiritual Director, I don't want one because he will hold me responsible for myself. He will call me out of my self-love and make me face those things I only read about in the "Devout Life." He will force me to acknowledge where I have gone wrong, and work to change those things.
That is, if he knows what he is doing.
That, and I tend to be emotional, not uncommon for a woman. But if I have to talk about deep spiritual issues, I won't be able to keep from crying, and of course, sometimes tears are a symptom; of pain, of repentance, of healing. And of humility. I don't want to be humbled, as much as I deeply NEED to be humbled! But I don't want to sit in front of a priest I respect (which is ALL the priests I know) and cry my eyes out. And maybe this is what I need, yet it is one of the things I most fear; my emotion. It is all about pride. A few years ago the fear of my emotion was one of the things that kept me from the Sacrament of Confession. Now it is hindering me from literally ASKING someone for Spiritual Direction.
And it is this, above all things, that tells me that perhaps I am ready for an SD and it is time for one. I need guidance with all the recent information I have obtained; how to apply it, how to avoid going off into scrupulosity, how to avoid sliding back, how to advance and become closer to God. How to break attachments without being extreme. How to be responsible for my decisions. How to be truly holy and not just think I am holy. And how to be holy without recognizing my holiness and how much that recogntion would feed into my Pride.
I hate being held to the fire, but that is what I need, and the very cognizance of that is painful.
I don't really want a Spiritual Director, but I need one.
And if I actually find one, I'm terrified of the pain the experience will entail.
I so desperately need an SD that I just as desperately don't want one at all.
This has got to be one of the most ridiculous dilemmas EVER!