Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm available for speaking engagements.

I ran across that announcement on a blog post or Facebook post not too long ago.  I can't remember where, but if it was 'you' reading this, please don't be offended by this post.

I thought, "Really?"  Who are you?  Why would anyone be interested in what you have to say?  (That question can be put to any of us with a blog.)  Granted, some people are experts in their field and their advice columns are part of their job, so to speak, but that's not what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about those 'other' people looking for success and stardom through self-promotion.

I think 'experts' online, gurus, advice columnists, apologists on the parish-speaker circuit,  may have a lot in common with locutionists and mystics.  I say this by way of introduction to an interesting article I happened upon today when I got online... 'confessions of a self help guru'.

Actually, the article is titled, I was a self help guru. Here's why you shouldn't listen to people like me.

 It's a good read and may be helpful for people online who depend upon strangers for advice and direction.  It may be even more helpful for those who think they can direct and guide people with their advice based upon some sort of conversion experience or mystical insight, even though they need just as much help and direction as those they wish to counsel.  Some people online even want to tell others how to think and what to think - and they want to get paid for doing so.

The self-help circuit is basically a business, as is the apologetics circuit.  It's a business.  Fundraising is a business.  There is training for people who want to do that.  There are professional spiritual directors who charge - just like a psychiatrist or a doctor.  They have a degree - so they need to make a living.  Nothing wrong with that ... I suppose.

I knew of a layman who was a professional spiritual director who wanted to help a woman under his direction in sexual matters.  It turns out he needed more help than she did - after the lawsuit.

Just thinking out loud here.

There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. - Flannery O'Connor

This young apologist once had anger issues
and now does speaking engagements on 
the sanctifying effects of righteous anger.


  1. Man, I wish Flannery was still around.

  2. where's your donate button? i feel the need to give you all my money lol!

  3. LOL...paid apologists circuitiers and "professional" spiritual directors...man I thought I was the only one who thought all that was a bit whack. Thanks for saying it out loud.

  4. That's why my spiritual director is a priest. If he screws up, there will be he'll to pay!


  5. That's why my spiritual director is a priest. If he screws up, there will be he'll to pay!


  6. I feel the same way when I see autobiography's by 30 something year old "celebrities" at the library. What is world made them think they had anything to say or their life to that point was of any interest to anyone?

    I'd gladly give you a Starbucks's card to speak to my garden club. You could talk about rabbits and hosta.

    1. I wish I were in a garden club. That sounds great.

  7. Sometimes I refer to my wife's chore lists for me as "spiritual direction." So let this show that not every attempt to get into a director's/directee's pants is wrong.

    I bet 95% of what we know as "spiritual direction" would be better termed "spiritual therapy." This subtle change might take the edge of the vanity that seems to be so much a part of "spiritual direction." This person's spiritual director was ________. X directed Y, so X is super holy. Z has three directors so he's triple dependable. So on and so on. Having a director is a shibboleth among the spiritual elite, remnant-Catholics, the orthoxdox-online, whatever you want to call them. Can you imagine quiet, back-handed bragging about being in "spiritual therapy"? Ha.

    For real "direction" think of Fr. Zosima in Brothers K or The Way of the Pilgrim or the saint who passed Jesus's test by obeying her director instead of Jesus (that happened, right? Did I just make that up?).


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