#001: How to Find a Spiritual Director [Podcast]

If you were going to go on a dangerous trip or invest a lot of money in something, you would want a guide to help you. Most of us are ready to get a tour guide and a financial advisor, but what about a guide for the most important aspect of your life? You need a spiritual director. But how do you find one?


In this show I share three tips for finding a solid spiritual director for your soul.

Click to Listen

Outline of Episode #001

Proverb of the Week: Proverbs 13:3

Tip of the Week: “Write it Down!”

Here’s the link to the Moleskine notebook that I use and that I highly recommend to you.

I’m offering a free steak dinner at Outback to everyone who tries my advice and finds that it doesn’t work.

Featured Segment: How to Find a Solid Spiritual Director

Listener Questions

  1. Richard Randall asks for advice about a question concerning Sunday Obligation for Mass.
  2. Davis asks about Mary as a supposed “Unwed Mother.” Here’s my previous article on this topic: Joseph and Mary: Were they truly married even though they did not consummate their marriage?
  3. Samuel asks “Why do the books of Esther and Song of Solomon not mention the word ‘God’ if they are inspired by God?” (For an example of the word ‘God’ in the deuterocanonical passage of Esther, see chapter 14.)

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  • Michal

    Hello, just to point out- there’s no link to moleskine in this post (and I really would like to get one) cheers 🙂

    • Do you see the link box below this paragraph in the post above:

      “Here’s the link to the Moleskine notebook that I use and that I highly recommend to you.”
      If not, what browser are you using?


      • Dan

        What is the difference between the “diary” version ($11.00) and “paperback” version ($24.53) of the Moleskine on Amazon?

        • I don’t know. The link is the one I use. It’s perfect. Fits in a coat pocket.

          • I have the cheaper diary version. Just make sure you get the 3 inch version so it fits in your pocket!

          • Dan

            That’s probably the version I would get. I’ve noticed that when I do things like this–get organized, etc.–and ask the Lord into the process, that’s it amazing how much “extra time” there seems to be in the day. Without getting too speculative, it’s almost like God responds to us taking responsibility for our lives by gifting us with a more enriching and productive day. If greater and greater fullness and abundance is available to us in this life, I can only imagine what life will be like in eternity, when we will live in the unending “eighth day” of the new creation–forever! Take your richest, most productive day in this life and multiply it by infinity!! That’s my guess!

          • I agree. When we make priorities, we get “more” done.

            I don’t think it’s really “more” as in quantity, but more in quality.

            I think we are naturally afraid to do big, great things. But when we write it down, we force ourselves to make the move – to do the big thing.

            We end up making a bigger impact that way.

      • Louis

        Dr. Marshall,

        Chrome/Comodo Dragon with extensions that block ads or tracking will result in the link not being displayed. I would assume that similar extensions in Firefox or IE would yield the same results.

        • I’ll look into this. One thing I’ve learned about websites – the various browsers cause many headaches!

          • Timothy Black

            they sure do. lol.

  • LizEst

    In Dan Burke’s book “Navigating the Interior Life” he also mentions other ways to find a director, such as inquiring at monasteries, associations of the faithful, asking your diocese/archdiocese, third orders, etc also sometimes have their own director. It can’t be stressed enough that that it is extremely important that a spiritual director be faithful to the Magisterium, else we can easily be led astray. Dan also gives questions to ask a potential director in order to determine if they are faithful.

    This was a great podcast. Thanks for adding this to your repertoire.

  • Patti Day

    Great content. Loved the practical examples you gave, especially liked ‘shopping’ for a spiritual director through frequent confession. You have the voice for radio. Have you considered doing the audio for your books? I’m just starting ‘The Eternal City’ on Kindle.

    • Thank you, I’m glad you like it so far. There will be a new podcast every week. We’re still trying to tweak it for the better.

      Thank you for getting The Eternal City!

  • Dan

    This reminds me of the podcasts for your books back before you had 6 gazillion readers. Great stuff!! I agree with the person you said you have the voice for radio. What is the “bumper music” you are using? ( I think you also used it in your earlier podcasts).

  • I’m glad to see people using the “Buffer” button above and below the posts. Bravo!

    Isn’t Buffer awesome?

  • Wretched Sinner

    I think podcasts are great! When ironing, cooking, or doing dishes I enjoy listening to them. Dr. Marshall, I couldn’t find your podcast on itunes, I wanted to add the app to my subscribe list. I listened to it from here on your site, but what is the itune “channel” if you will?

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  • nannykim1303

    You mention going to confession weekly. Could you give us advice on how to prepare our hearts for this and how to examine our lives. Thanks.

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  • euphemos

    What a great first podcast!


    * Although it was mildly frustrating at first, it was right to put the featured segment after your two intro items to “encourage” the listener to hear more than just the feature.

    * The bass is bumped up a bit too much in the audio, or perhaps too much noise correction, resulting in some distortion.

    * The intro music was just a bit too long.

    * Latin word of the day was a nice closer.

    * Of course some times you will want to direct us to other resources, but thank you for not using this as merely a tool to plug your other (excellent) materials, but instead focusing upon new content.


    * The tips on prioritization and scheduling were great. In the software development world, we do something similar. At the start of each day, we meet as a team and discuss what we accomplished yesterday, what we are going to accomplish today, and what’s blocking our progress. The same thing can work on an individual basis by including in each new day an evaluation of the previous day’s accomplishments, what blocked progress yesterday, and how to overcome those obstacles today.

    * I’d love to hear more about how to go about “trying out” a spiritual director. Do you, or do you pray, commit to working with the director, and pray some more? Is an interview appropriate? What kinds of questions can I ask myself and/or my potential director to help understand whether this is the relationship toward’s which the Lord is leading me?

  • Taylor, I’m glad to see you’re back to podcasting! For a first episode this was great. The format works pretty well (I’m a fellow Michael Hyatt listener).

    During the podcast you mentioned that you prefer the extraordinary form of the Mass. I’ve been interested in the latin mass, but I’m not sure how to get started. I’m guessing I would feel lost at first. Perhaps this is a good idea for an upcoming podcast or blog post? I’d love to hear your insights on this.

    Thanks for your great work!

    • Great idea! In also intrigued that you listen to Hyatt. He’s influenced me a lot lately as is obvious in my new template.
      Ill begin to brew a EF podcast.


  • Thank you Michal!

  • joan browning

    I have a spiritual advisor, but, manyacquaintances do not, nor can they undetstand: why I do.

  • Brian Murphy

    I do not have a pod cast whatever that is; is your info available in written form

  • Pat

    Hi Taylor. Just listened to your Spiritual Advisor show. I love it. While you speak I absorb and play Spider Solitaire..helps me concentrate on your voice…and keeps me from getting up..:) I think a good wave-length between priest/person would help, as well. The ones I loved have left our parish, good Filipino thinking, direct, etc..which I prefer. I am not Filipino either but they have good senses and solid egos; that is an important in that kind of relationship. Not showy or too verbose. Thanks…like the show. Pat Rutter

  • John Ott

    Enjoyed the podcast, it’s a nice addition. I have a suggestion for a future topic; a commentary on the Book of Proverbs and possibly some historical context. I enjoy reading a chapter each morning but I’m not sure I’m getting all I could and would appreciate your insights.

    • Man, a commentary on Proverbs would be tough.

      I had a seminary prof who made all students TRY to create an outline of Proverbs. It’s essentially impossible.

      The only guy who got an A+ on the assignment did the following. He cut up each proverb into a fortune cookie paper size and placed all the individual verses in a giant bottle and then turned it in to the prof.

      Rather than an outline, I think the best way to read Proverbs is to read Proverbs 31 first (the noble Lady Wisdom as wife) and then read the whole book. By the way, Mary is the fulfillment of Proverbs 31 as a number of saints have taught.

  • Brian Sullivan

    What is it called on iTunes?

    • Fr. Dana Christensen

      I’d like to find it on itunes too!

  • Fr. Dana Christensen

    Excellent Podcast! I loved the “life hack” tip, so keep them coming. I also have a follow up question regarding the “unwed mother” question. Scripture says they were “betrothed” but not married when Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit. I think in the mind of many this would make her an unwed mother. After all, she wasn’t married, only betrothed. You might want to clarify what “betrothed” meant during that period in history so that the issue is clarified and this can be put to rest.

    Also, as a priest who has a few spiritual directees and who hears confessions I would say that for the vast majority of Catholics, even those who are seriously pursuing holiness, a regular confessor (one that you see every one to two weeks) is sufficient spiritual guidance. It seems to me that many people think they need a spiritual director, when what the really need is just a regular confessor.

    • I agree. Most people need to simply begin with regular confession. Great point. I should have said that in the podcast.

      Regarding the betrothal, Mary and Joseph were truly and validly married. In Jewish law they were wedded. Husband and wife.

      A bill of divorce would be needed to separate.

      Christ was conceived in a married virgin and born to a married virgin.

      Saint Thomas Aquinas argues that there was “a true marriage” between the two at STh III, q. 29, a. 2

      John Paul II also argued that Christ entered the world at the Annunciation within a nuclear family.

  • Casey

    i tried your advice and it didn’t work! Where’s my free steak? 😉

    • I’ll send you a steak if you try it for 21 days and it doesn’t work like I said on the podcast. Seriously.

  • somnipod

    Just found this podcast after hearing you on Drew Mariani the other day. Love the Latin word of the day and the quote at the end of the podcast! the Austin Diocese has the “Pope Benedict XVI Latin Institute” to go along with the Extraordinary Mass on Sundays and that was a bonus to aid in my studies

  • kkcr

    Do you have any advice on how to achieve #2: surround yourself with people pursuing Christ? I keep looking and am getting discouraged with my results. I don’t live or work with people like this, so I’ve tried getting involved in the church and community. However, volunteer opportunities are few and far between. (It seems organizations want money and donations over time.) Any other events through the Church or religious groups occur during the morning, geared mostly toward a retired person’s schedule. What about someone who has a job? Any thoughts?

  • Silpa Paul

    Thank you so much Dr Marshal.. Totally agree with the Blessed Sacrament writing and working method.. It does work!!

  • VAM Girl

    Dr. Taylor, what is wrong with writing in your smartphone? I have it with me all the time, and a small writing book is one less thing to carry in my purse and look for..

  • VAM Girl

    I give this podcast a 3…great stuff, but I was hoping for specifics on identifying the spiritual direction identification and what to expect in SD. God bless you, V +JMJ+

  • JCM

    Well, presently I am going through an extensive training using the Ignatius Rules for becoming a Spiritual Director with the blessing and approval of our Bishop. I am not a priest. Priests are not the only ones qualified to become spiritual directors. I am a female, 59 year old, wife, and mother of three.