When I was at seminary two decades ago, "spiritual direction" was a new trend. Many of us thought that it was the greatest idea we'd ever hit upon, particularly for those who had grown up around very
Spiritual direction, we learned, was like midwifery: A midwife cannot create life or control it. She can only encourage it to fruition and be present to the miracle that is already happening in someone else. In the same way, spiritual directors facilitate growth but aren't responsible for it. Both the director and director are in a listening posture, waiting on the Spirit for discernment and attending to the life that God is growing within.
This midwife-to-mother relationship was located, we thought, in the upper atmosphere of spiritual maturity and sought after by believers who were really striving to attain deep faith. We were all talking about it, reading books about it, and wondering where on earth to find a highly trained spiritual director.