Discerning – The Ignatian Way

Notes from “God’s Voice Within”, a book by Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ

I’m currently reading this book about discerning and decision making through listening and contemplation.

Here are some of the notes:

  1. Introduction
  2. True and False Spirits

  • God desires for us to make good decisions and will help us to do so. All we need:
    1. Good intention
    2. Rely on God
    3. Pay attention
  • An authentic spirituality is a simple spirituality. 
  • Holiness leads to joy – moving closer to God means moving closer to a list of peace and joy.
  • Make life-giving decisions.
  • True discernment teaches us to be self-aware, making honest assessments of our situations and problems.
  • There are many decisions made in a day:
    – How will I fill up my day?  [distinguishing important from irrelevant work]
    – How might I serve Christ today?  [helping, serving, praying]
    – How can I take good care of myself today?   [abstaining, spending time with family]
    – How will I relate to others?  [kindness, forgiveness]
    – What sort of attitude will I have?  [humility]
  • Instead of ignoring decision making or letting external circumstances decide for you, be consciously and prayerfully deciding such things.

See John 10: 1-16   [The Good Shepherd]

“…He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognise his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognise the voice of strangers.” – John 10:4-5

  • Recognise the voice of the Good Shepherd by fine-tuning your spiritual senses so that you can more readily detect and move toward the voice of the Good Shepherd.
  • Discernment = determining God’s will
  • How? Recognise the motivations and choose the option that comes from God. 
  • Ignatian discernment isn’t so much about what to do, but who to be. It is about becoming a person in tune with the movements that lead towards God. The doing will flow from the being. 

Let’s pray for each other. Add a prayer request here. Information will be kept confidential. 


Author: Valerie

Live. Laugh. Love.

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