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 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. Tap on the book cover below to listen:
Discernment is for me, the most important tool of the walk with Jesus. Consolation and desolation usually come down to love and fear. Fear creeps in when I remove myself from that love: I guess the iron grows cold when it is away from the fire.
yes, love and fear… how significant that people never talk about cold love and warm fear, but “cold fear” and “warm love.”