At least I hope it isn't so hidden anymore.
about 10 years ago when I began my first Spiritual Direction relationship it wasn't all that common for lay-women or lay-men to seek spiritual direction on a regular basis. It might have been going on then, but it really was a hidden treasure back then. Religious sisters and brothers and the ordained clergy had been using direction as a spiritual tool for centuries (heck probably millennia) but lay people didn't know much about the necessity of it or how to go about getting a director.
I don't know what I would do without spiritual direction. My monthly appointment is just as important to me as visits to the doctor, or dentist, or my weekly attendance at mass or my daily prayer time. I have written about Direction a couple of times in the past:
and here and here too
I had a direction appointment today. As I was filling Fr. in on what my life has been like since the last time we met (before I started the two Philosophy Classes) and my frustrations at the studying and how most of my prayer time has been consumed by begging for help to get through, and my other frustration that I didn't seem to be capable of getting much of the other self-improvement issues I had decided I wanted to work on begun this summer, etc.
At this point he stopped me and gently reminded me that I needed to stop a moment and set some priorities. I am a wife/mother caregiver for my mom and student first, and maybe, just maybe for this summer those things need to take my full attention. Whatever I had decided I wanted to do or become could certainly wait a month or so when I don't find myself buried under a mountain of homework. Maybe those things are enough for now.
He sent me home thinking about that, and gave me something to meditate on between today and the next time we meet next month.
I am so blessed. We laugh, he listens to what I say and makes me listen to myself so that I don't stress out. He is a wonderful "soul friend" and companion on my spiritual journey.
I would suggest that if you don't have a spiritual director, and would like one seek one out. If you know a priest or religious in your area that you think would make a good fit for you, ask. If you haven't got a clue where to look, you might start by calling the Chancery at your Diocese, or the nearest Monastery or Convent.
I know that I will continue to seek direction. Without it my spirit is burdened and sometimes lost.