St. Alphonsus also has this to say: ‘As soon as a good confessor sees a soul shrinking from mortal sin and desiring to advance in divine love, he ought to... guide it to the making of mental prayer, that is, meditation on the eternal truths and the goodness of God;” (13) and the Saint then proposes a follow up. Moreover, one will at times find it desirable to persuade penitents who come burdened with mortal sin, even habitual, to receive his guidance in the ways of mental prayer; (14) and this easily leads the conscientious priest to full responsibilities of direction.
Favoring recourse to a doctrinally sound, learned director, St. Teresa judges that if one finds one, and he is not advanced enough in the spiritual life to understand certain things needful in the guidance of advanced souls, but is virtuous, it is not presumptuous to hope that God will enlighten him about what he should teach and even make him advance in the spiritual life himself in order that he may provide better help. “I do not say this without experience,” she remarks. “It has happened to me at least in two cases.”