See God Act: The Ministry of Spiritual Direction

by Michael Drennan, SJ

Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D.


Only when we recognize that all people live in relationship with God, self, others and creation can we become aware of how the Holy Spirit, the primary director, is present in our lives. Even in a prayerful and reflective life, further help may be needed to bring greater freedom from unconscious influences. Starting with the perpetual and interpersonal aspects of our lives and building in a layered fashion toward an understanding of the dynamics of spiritual direction, See God Act is an expansive account of the place of spiritual direction in a life of faith that broadens our sense of our ongoing journey with God. There are different options for starting the exploration of spiritual direction.


One could begin from a description of the ministry itself, and tease out its implications in the life of a follower of Jesus. There are rick insights available from many sources, past and present that follow this approach. I propose to start from a different perspective, however, it will involve first some aspects of the human story, in order to come to a fuller understanding of the human person, while taking care of the faith dimension. It will look to the meeting point of the human story and God’s story. It will involve laying foundations that provide a basis for understanding and developing the ministry for spiritual direction. Rather than beginning with spiritual direction, the method employed here means arriving at spiritual direction after the foundations that situate it more fully as a ministry of the faith community have been laid. Then, having looked at spiritual direction itself, the later part of the book will seek to address some of the dynamics involved in the different relationships with God, with others and with self.


Spiritual direction and prayer are incarnated in the life of each one of us, and also in the lives of all of us who travel together as a community of faith. It begins from the conviction that God is active in the world and that nothing is impossible to God. The action of God calls for a human response. We need the wisdom to recognize God’s surprising ways, the freedom to receive them, and the love to make them a reality through Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life. It is a great book for all who wish to deepen their relationship with Christ and how the Holy Spirit supports all that we do to accomplish this.


The book is filled with reflections and questions that help in meditation for those involved in Spiritual direction. The author is a former Director of Manresa and has practiced extensively as a counselor and a spiritual director. He was Secretary General of the Conference of Religious of Ireland.