The Strength of Discernment – What is Spiritual Direction?

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Msgr. Esseff, after leading a retreat consisting of over 140 Spiritual Directors from around the country, discusses Discernment.  Why is is it such an important aspect of our lives?  What is the role of the Spiritual Director?  What are the signs of  a good spiritual director ? How do we encounter them?

From the NAB 

Numbers Chap 21

The Bronze Serpent.4

From Mount Hor they set out by way of the Red Sea, to bypass the land of Edom, but the people’s patience was worn out by the journey;5so the people moses-and-bronze-serpentcomplainedd against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”*

6So the LORD sent among the people seraph* serpents, which bite the people so that many of the Israelites died.7Then the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you. Pray to the LORD to take the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people,8and the LORD said to Moses: Make a seraph and mount it on a pole, and everyone who has been bitten will look at it and recover.*9Accordingly Moses made a bronze serpent* and mounted it on a pole, and whenever the serpent bit someone, the person looked at the bronze serpent and recovered.

 

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to Blessed Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving  in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by Bl. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to  serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   

 

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