Patricia A. Merlo, M.P.M.

Spiritual direction is a guided process of sacred listening and reflection that will help you become more aware of God’s loving and faithful Presence in your everyday life.

Spiritual direction is a form of spiritual companionship. It is best described as a relationship of sacred listening and reflection that helps both the director and the directee become more attuned to God’s loving presence in the circumstances of everyday life.

Spiritual Direction provides a safe and sacred place to slow down, to learn to listen more deeply to the still, small voice of God, Who (by the very fact of your reading this!) is already inviting you to a deeper relationship of mutual Love.

Spiritual direction is a very personal and confidential relationship. As a result, our initial meeting is designed to see if I will be a good match for you. If so, we will schedule a monthly appointment at a mutually convenient time at the Our Lady of Refuge Parish Offices in Orchard Lake, MI.

What should someone expect in Spiritual Direction?

What is Spiritual Direction?

“. . . ‘direction’ does not mean one person telling another what to do . It refers simply to the seeker’s orientation. Thus ‘direction’ is the goal of the interpersonal relationship, not its means.” Elizabeth Liebert, Changing Patterns : Adult Development in Spiritual Direction

“It may include: 1) helping someone learn to pray, 2) listening for or noticing God’s activity, 3) discernment for decision-making, 4) becoming aware of images of God that influence the developing relationship and, 5) bringing wounds or life patterns to God for healing”.
   Bread of Life Center, Davis, CA

A confidential relationship in which a spiritual companion “assists another to develop and come to maturity in the life of the spirit: that is, in the life of faith, hope and love." John Wright, SJ, A Discussion on Spiritual Direction

". . . a formal one-to-one relationship. . . the one helping the other to discern the work of the Lord in his or her life and to distinguish among the various forces or 'spirits' which seem to beckon in different directions. . . . The director may be seen . . . simply as an informed human being who represents a channel of grace." Gerald May, MD., Care of Mind /Care of Spirit

Quotations on Spiritual Direction above were compiled by Ann Dillon, Manresa Jesuit Retreat Center.

Spiritual Fitness Training

Sometimes formal Spiritual Direction may not be the right choice for someone. As an alternative, I can meet on a short term basis with individuals who wish to address a specific issue such as:

  • Forgiveness: forgiving painful events that may be ongoing, or occurred recently or even decades ago
  • Prayer and Meditation: identifying and learning forms of prayer that are best suited to you
  • Mature Adult Spirituality: transitioning from a full-time job to meaningful retirement.
  • Discernment of God’s Will: using guidelines developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, learn to recognize God’s Will in difficult or ordinary events and circumstances of daily life.

If you are interested in learning more about spiritual direction or in beginning spiritual direction or spiritual fitness training, please email me at or phone me at 248-909-9531.

May God bless your journey.

Patty Merlo, M.P.M

If you are interested in Spiritual Direction, here are some additional contacts listed in alphabetical order:

Spiritual Directors:


For help finding a compatible Spiritual Directors contact:

Ann Dillon
Manresa Jesuit Retreat House
1390 Quarton Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
Phone: 248-644-4933 ext 10
Web Site:

Kathy Budesky, IHM, M.A.
Visitation North
7227 Lahser Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
Phone: 248-433-0950
Web Site:

(Page Last Updated: 5/2/2020)

©2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 Patty Merlo