Discernment and the Mission
October 2011 Newsletter
See and hear Fr. Michael Sheeran SJ, Regis University President, in this excerpt from a retreat he directed in October, 2010.
The Manresa Scholar’s Program at Marquette University focuses on student vocational discernment. Through the program, students begin building practical life experiences on work sites and with peers.
(also "Discernment of spirits") - A process for making choices, in a context of (Christian) faith, when the option is not between good and evil, but between several possible courses of action all of which are potentially good. For Ignatius the process involves prayer, reflection and consultation with others - all with honest attention not only to the rational (reasons pro and con) but also to the realm of one's feelings, emotions and desires (what Ignatius called "movements" of soul). A fundamental question in discernment becomes "Where is this impulse from — the good spirit (of God) or the evil spirit (leading one away from God)?" A key to answering this question, says Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises, is that, in the case of a person leading a basically good life, the good spirit gives "consolation" — acts quietly, gently and leads one to peace, joy and deeds of loving service — while the bad spirit brings "desolation" — agitates, disturbs the peace and injects fears and discouragement to keep one from doing good
The Examen, a prayer of awareness that Ignatius of Loyola taught in his Spiritual Exercises, helps one notice God’s presence in our daily lives. This modern adaptation invites reflection upon five points for spiritual thanksgiving, grace, and introspection.
“Learn to be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not."
-Henri Frederic Amiel
(Picture by Kevin Edward Fitzgerald)
More reflections can be found in the book, Creating Privileged Moments.
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