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Q & A with Father Anthony



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I am being pushed in two different directions as to where I should follow my vocation. Is there someone objective I could talk to?

Roya asks:

Dear Fr Anthony,

I am a 43-year-old Catholic female who is in the process of vocation discernment. I am feeling a bit pushed by my spiritual director (a priest) and a vocation director (a Sister) who have opposing views on spirituality and where I would best fit. Do you know of a retreat that I could attend, or an objective person that I could speak with? Thank you, and God bless you.

Dear Roya,

It is going to be very difficult for a complete stranger to be able to tell where you would best fit.

I think part of the problem may be in your understanding of spiritual direction. You should have no more than one spiritual director, because otherwise what you will get is not really spiritual but rather a series of opinions, and the result is the confusión you are experiencing. You have to decide which of the two people you are listening to is really going to be your spiritual director, (in other words, which of the two you are going to trust because of their prudence and knowledge of the spiritual life.) And then work with that person only, and bring to the spiritual direction what the other one says, so as to get sound direction. If you are not prepared to give either of the persons you are dealing with your complete trust, you may consider changing.

Now the spiritual director is not usually going to say, "You have to do what I say because I am your director." He is rather going to give you the reasons (some of which will be supernatural) behind what he is counseling. He will try to enrich your understanding of what is happening in your soul, the patterns of God's actions according to sound spiritual theology; he will enlighten you when he has reasons to believe you are mistaken in something, he will be frank when he sees you may be deceiving yourself, he will always call you to greater generosity, BUT the final decision as regards what exactly you are actually going to do is always going to be yours, taken in freedom and hopefully in accordance with the objective principles and truths the spiritual director is trying to help you to discover and accept.

God bless,

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