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Old Wisdom From St. Ignatius Offers A New Perspective on Discernment


 
 
"Go forth and set the world on fire" -  Ignatius of Loyola
"Go forth and set the world on fire" - Ignatius of Loyola
PRLog - Mar. 24, 2014 - CLEVELAND -- We recently looked at the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, and his thoughts on seven qualities which must be present for authentic discernment. (http://www.prlog.org/12298496-st-ignatius-seven-qualities-for-authentic-discernment.html (../12298496-st-ignatius-seven-qualities-for-authentic-discernment.html)) Taken from St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises, are seven more principles. These are practical tips and techniques for discernment which can be of great value to our own discernment process today.

1. To begin, we must focus on the issue which we are discerning. This may be discerning a call to religious life, or choosing a specific religious order to join.

2. St. Ignatius advises us to pray that we can "try to be like a balance at equilibrium, without leaning to either side." This means we should ask for the grace to desire God's will, while setting aside our own prejudices and opinions.

3. Through continued prayer, we must ask for clarity to see God's will. The end goal must be God's service and praise.

4. St. Ignatius suggests looking at things from a new angle! Imagine a person we have never met before who comes to us asking advice. He or she faces the same decision that you do, and wants your advice in responding to God's call. What would you tell this person? It is often easier to see clearly when we are giving other people advice, and through this method, we can make use of our own advice.

5. Imagine yet another perspective: at the end of our lives we will stand face to face before Christ. When we are judged, how would we feel if we chose one path over another possible decision? Could we explain our decision to Christ? Would we be proud and joyful about the choice we made? These types of questions can help put things in perspective and examine the honesty of our motives.

6. The Church teaches the use of faith and reason. If we still do not experience inner clarity in discernment, we must turn to reason to make our decision. First, will the decision allow us to live out God's will through our lives? Secondly, list out the "pros and cons" of the decision. Do any pros or cons really stand out? Do they have spiritual merit? Finally - keeping in mind the end goal of glorifying God - how do the possible alternatives compare with the decision.

7. We finally make a decision... but discernment is not quite over yet! St. Ignatius teaches that we must then ask for a sign of God's confirmation that our choice is the right one. Most often, this "sign" comes in the form of peacefulness. We experience inner joy and peace, and the feeling of God's presence and blessing. Contrary signs would include anxiety, darkness, or sadness.

Taken from Warren Sazama, S.J.'s article "Some Ignatian principles for making prayerful decisions." http://www.marquette.edu/faith/ignatian-principles-for-ma...

* * *

Shadow the Sisters this Spring

Would you like to learn more about the religious life? Is the possibility of becoming a sister tugging at your heart? Come visit us for a day or two, or stay overnight during our open house, which runs April 10-17, 2014.

Young women will have the opportunity to visit our Cleveland home and "shadow us" as we go about our prayer life, community life and apostolate. For more information, and to register, please visit our website, http://mercedariansisters.org/.

Be sure to like our Facebook page,https://www.facebook.com/mercedarians, for more updates and news!

If you think you may be called to become a Mercedarian Sister of the Blessed Sacrament, take our simple Test Your Call survey at http://mercedariansisters.org/Formation/TestYourCall.aspx. I'll write a personal response.

Sr. Jeanette Marie, Vocations Director

Photo:
http://www.prlog.org/12299922/1

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Source:Mercedarian Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
City/Town:Cleveland - Ohio - United States
Industry:Religion
Tags:catholic church, Ignatian spirituality, discernment, Mercedarian Sisters, St. Ignatius of Loyola
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