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    The Mandolin Dilemma

    For a brief period of time, I took mandolin lessons under a tree. I was living in Bolivia and had acquired a new mandolin and...
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    Attuning to God’s Voice Within

    My sons are now teens. It seems like just yesterday I put them down for a nap after lunch, and now, my youngest is...
    Text: "God’s grace is non-stop." next to image of succulent plant growing in the nooks of the boulders - image courtesy of Marina Berzins McCoy

    Storing up the Water of Consolation

    This summer on retreat I spent much time praying while sitting on large rocks off the northeast Atlantic Ocean. The wildlife is abundant there,...
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    Free to Risk Failure

    We cannot choose correctly all the time. That plain fact inhibits many of us from making as many choices, and bold choices, as we...
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    Playing Jazz with God

    The art of discernment can be compared to playing jazz, which is an adventurous form of music. In jazz, the musicians play a standard...
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    The Voice of Fear and Agere Contra

    Recently, I’ve reached a new stage of discernment: the time right after the decision has been made but no action has been taken yet....
    Seeing with the Heart by Kevin O'Brien, SJ - author photo next to book cover

    Making Big Decisions

    In the Exercises, Ignatius describes a mode of discernment for making bigger decisions, traditionally called the election (SE 169–89). Making an election relies on...
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    Reframing Our Vision

    In ancient Rome, Janus was the two-faced god of beginnings and endings, but also of transitions and passages. It is therefore no surprise that...
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    Yellow Arrows and Discernment

    Several years ago, I was blessed with a chance to walk part of the Camino de Santiago. Each day, we awoke early, put on...
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    The Grace We Need

    No matter how pure our motives and how flawless our discernment process, we depend on God's grace ultimately to help us make not only...