Although I was born and raised a Catholic, it was in 2007 when I began to really have a relationship with God after writing three simple words in my journal on New Year’s Day morning – Be more spiritual. I don’t think I knew what that meant to me specifically, but God did. I can look back now and see the big and small ways He was moving in my life. However, years later I found myself in a dark and dry place spiritually, so I began seeing a Spiritual Director once a month. The change didn’t happen overnight, but those changes were enormous and significant. Through the listening presence of my Spiritual Director, I have gained so much clarity on issues in my life and other questions or struggles that I’ve had. I’ve always felt a strong connection to Jesus and my love for Him is very deep, but my monthly Spiritual Direction sessions have drawn me closer to God the Father. The wonderful thing is that the wisdom and knowledge came from the Spirit, and my Spiritual Director helped me to hear the Spirit within me.
Because Spiritual Direction has benefited me in so many ways, I realized that I wanted to share that experience with others by becoming a Spiritual Director and accompanying them in their own spiritual journeys. In July 2021, I received my Certificate in Spiritual Direction after completing a 3-year Spiritual Direction training program at the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. It was an amazing journey of transformation and I liken it to a caterpillar's transformation to a butterfly. I continue growing closer and deeper in my relationship with the Holy Trinity and I'm blessed to be able to companion others on their own journey through compassionate listening to each precious life story.
What is Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual direction is the process of sharing one's sacred stories with a trained, compassionate listener. It can be helpful to anyone seeking spiritual growth, healing or a deeper connection with God and others. It is a time-honored practice of compassionate, nonjudgmental listening to another in a safe setting where what is shared is held with reverence and confidentiality. A trained spiritual director will listen intently and patiently as you share your sacred stories. Your spiritual director will journey with you as you navigate through life's complexities and transitions and be a trusted guide as you discover your inner wisdom. Spiritual directors do not offer counseling, advice or problem solving. Rather, they accompany you as you explore your own spiritual path. (From Franciscan Spirituality Center, La Crosse, WI -- www.fscenter.org)
Perhaps you are weary of the busyness of life, discerning a significant change, in the middle of a crisis, or feeling spiritually dry. Maybe you want to deepen your prayer and spiritual life or grow in your knowledge of, and relationship with, God or your Higher Power. Whatever brings you to Spiritual Direction and whatever your spiritual or religious affiliation may be - I offer a safe and confidential space for you to discover and explore the desires and concerns of your heart while I accompany you in your journey. I am a born, raised, and practicing Catholic yet I am open to, and welcome, everyone's personal religious or spiritual identity. My wish is to help others find their own answers to the questions and concerns that weigh on their hearts. I look forward to being your companion on your spiritual journey.
What Directees Say About Spiritual Direction
Receiving spiritual direction from Melina has been a true gift. She is thoughtful, caring and wise. I have spiritually matured in my walk with Jesus more than ever this past year, and Melina's direction has helped me seek and experience the love of Christ in a new way.