By Sr. Judith Marie Blizzard, Certified Spiritual Director
Before becoming a spiritual director, often people would say to me, “You are such a good listener,” a skill very important to the ministry. Yes, listening is a gift, but in the realm of spiritual direction, it needs a hearing aid whose name is the HOLY SPIRIT. Each morning, I spend twenty minutes in quiet prayer focused on God and just listening. Before I pray, I just listen to God. Of course, there are many distracting thoughts, which afterwards leave me wondering if it was all for nothing. Over time, I realized that it was not a waste of time because in those few seconds of being present and listening, I am learning the voice of God.
When it comes time to be present to my directee, I pray to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit for what to focus on after the person has finished sharing. Often people share at length and the aid of the Holy Spirit is necessary for how God wants to work with that person. I am just the instrument. My role is to ask the right questions that will help the person to reflect on an experience of God and go deeper into that experience.
Often, it is a surprise to me what questions come forth.
That element of surprise is the work of the Holy Spirit and tells me that the Holy Spirit is indeed with us. After the directee leaves, mentally I go over that time with him or her to see if there were any internal reactions that occurred in me that need to be addressed in supervision. This is done so that my personal issues do not get tangled with those of the directee. The listening then is threefold, and I do need a hearing aid in my ministry who is the Holy Spirit, that most precious gift given to us at our baptism. This great gift often leads me to awe and wonder at how God works in and through us.
Felician Sisters throughout North America offer spiritual guidance. If you have questions about spiritual direction, text, call or email Sr. Judy Blizzard at 734-718-0632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.