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Henrik Hagnell wrote:

Hi, guys —

Ave Maria!

I am confused. We have the term spiritual direction. It is often used to refer to guidance that leads a person deeper into their spiritual life. There is also another term pastoral care.

  • Would that be a bit different from spiritual direction or does it just refer to everything the Priests do for the parishioners in a parish?

I would like to get help from a Priest but I don't just need guidance that leads me deeper into my spiritual life. I need something more.

  • Can you go to a Priest and get help with your spiritual problems?

One Priest whom I spoke with only tried to explain what the Church teaches rather than help with my spiritual problems/issues. He was a former politician. Another Priest with whom I spoke with was extremely wise and said that he would meet people who had a life crisis or darkness, of some sort, in their life. He would have probably been a good Priest to talk with but he has since passed away. I wasn't ready to seek real help from him back when he was alive.

I am a non-Catholic who wants to become a Catholic. My issue is not that I haven't read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other things about teachings of the Church — I have; I have even read Aquinas.

Spiritual direction seems to be about explaining the faith to someone who just wants to grow in holiness. I need something else. Perhaps a Priest who can help me deal with some inner darkness and confusion I have.

  • Do Priests help with such things?

I think they should be able to help but I am not sure how Priests do this. I think when people have inner darkness it refers to having a need to go to Confession. We need to seek forgiveness from Life Itself. Seeking help from a Priest would be different than seeking help from someone who knows pedagogy and psychology as the Priest helps you take that inner darkness into Confession.

It's a lot about the forgiveness.

  • How do Priests help people with this?


  { If you plan on becoming Catholic, can you go to a Priest and get help with your spiritual problems? }

Bob replied:

Dear Henrik,

Let me encourage you to find a good priest who can assist you—they are out there.

Becoming Catholic and being able to receive the sacraments will be key to empowering you to fight any spiritual battles you are trying to wage. You probably are already praying for God to lead you to such a priest, but I will join forces and pray that you can find the right one (not all are equal in this regard).

Sometimes the religious orders, particularly the traditional ones, will have priests that can serve well in this way. Try the, it is a Latin rite community, so they know all about spiritual warfare and fighting darkness.

If you can't find one like that near you, contact or any Pro-Life Catholic organization for a recommendation on someone in your area.

I say that because the Pro-lifers tend to filter out and find the best priests for their zeal.

God will answer this prayer; just put it in His Hands.


Bob Kirby

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