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Need for a guide

24 gennaio 2011

If you seriously wish to travel the road to devotion, find some good man or woman to guide and lead you.

The Wise Man in the Old Testament tells us “A faithful friend is a strong defense, and he who has found one has found a treasure. A faithful friend is the medicine of life and immortality, and those who serve the Lord find him.” (Ecclesiasticus 6:14, 16)  The faithful friend guides our actions by advice and counsel and helps us avoid the snares and deceits of the Devil. He is the medicine we need to guide and comfort us in time of affliction.

Those who seek the Lord, humble souls who sincerely desire spiritual progress, will look for such a friend and guide. Since it is so important, constantly beg God to provide you with one after his own heart.

When you find such a spiritual director, consider him a treasure beyond price. Open your heart to him with all sincerity and tell him clearly without deception or dissimulation about what is good in you and what is bad. Then the good can be examined and approved; the bad can be corrected and repaired. Such a relationship must be strong, sincere and holy, completely sacred, completely divine, entirely spiritual.

John of Avila says such a person is one in a thousand. I think it is more like one in ten thousand for there are fewer than we realize who are capable of this task. The guide must be full of charity, learning and prudence, and if any one of these three characters is lacking, there is danger.

Ask God to guide you in this choice, and then go forward with simplicity, humility and confidence, for you will make a prosperous journey.

(From Introduction to the Devout Life, Saint Francis de Sales

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