The great challenge at the heart of human life is the discernment of what will lead us to greater intimacy with God, and what will lead us away from this life-giving relationship. Of course most people don’t use “God language” to speak of this. So let’s re-word this great challenge: the decisions of each day are fundamentally about what will make me happy, and what will lead me away from happiness.
However we choose to phrase this, we are talking about the real stuff of human existence, and therefore the real stuff of the Christian life.
Ignatius of Loyola was a great teacher of this discernment, and Pope Francis, with his sound Jesuit formation as a son of Ignatius, often speaks about earthly existence and human challenges in Ignatian language.
To find out more about what we know as Ignatius’ Discernment of Spirits, you might find these podcasts from Fr. Timothy Gallagher helpful. There’s a lot of listening here in the series of sixteen thirty minute podcasts, but for those who seek good formation on this central aspect of human happiness you might find the time to listen over the next few weeks. If you are like me and spend a lot of time driving that might provide an ideal opportunity for this substantial formation.
The second of my three Lenten reflection sessions will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at St. Gregory’s, Cotswold Ave, Bishopdale, Christchurch. The first session a couple of weeks ago was a wonderful gathering of people. I look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow evening when I will give an introduction to discernment of spirits. No previous knowledge needed – just a bit of curiosity!
Tap on the book cover below to visit the discernment podcast website: