Discernment and the Joy of Love

Friday saw the release of the much-anticipated apostolic exhortation on love in the family, Amoris Laetitia, (The Joy of Love). Two responses to the document emphasize the importance of understanding discernment to understand the message Pope Francis conveys in Amoris Laetitia. First, James Martin, SJ, writes for America that the Pope’s “use of discernment is closely tied to the idea of conscience, also highlighted in this document, particularly for those facing complex spiritual decisions.” For […]

Making Room This Advent

My father recently moved in with us, and it’s been a time of great squishing. Making the journey to our home, we all squished, with all of his belongings, into a rented minivan. We then proceeded to squish everything into our home. It has been a little hard to move around all the stuff. Our house has been feeling markedly like a sardine can. And so, the great purge of every nook and cranny of […]

Three Key Questions for Discernment

Unfortunately, the video we had featured here is no longer available. Please try these resources on discernment instead: The Ignatian Way #6: What Is Discernment? Discernment in a Nutshell dotMagis posts on Discernment

Overturning the Tables of the Evil Spirit

I’ve always struggled with the story of Jesus, in a seeming rage, turning over the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple. But after reflecting on how the evil spirit pesters us constantly, I have a new understanding of what was going on in that Gospel story. Jesus was not reacting to the buyers and sellers themselves, but to the evil spirit at large. The holy place of the Temple, a house of prayer, became […]

Side Notes for Discernment

Kat Franchino thinks that part of discernment is God giving us hints along the way she calls “Side Notes from God.” But little side notes can be game changers. It was during my God-instructed Alaskan escapade that some of this pile of jumbled notes started to straighten itself out and make sense. Nonprofit work gave me a sense of purpose. It was something I enjoyed and put effort in to, while photography was more of […]

Kevin O’Brien, SJ, on Discernment in the Jesuit Tradition

Kevin O’Brien, SJ, presented an hour-long webinar on “Discernment in the Jesuit Tradition” for Georgetown University Alumni Career Services. The information is valuable for anyone interested in learning about how to make decisions using Ignatian discernment. If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video Kevin O’Brien, SJ, on Discernment in the Jesuit Tradition.

What Do You Really Want?

Longtime dotMagis contributor Jim Manney has written a new book called What Do You Really Want? In it he examines Ignatian discernment. Manney shares that our most authentic desires have been given to us by God. These, though, can be obscured by other desires. Through discernment, we sift through our desires “to find what we most deeply and truly want,” and in doing so we find what God wants for us. St. Ignatius thought that […]

The Four Streams That Help Me Discern

Four years ago, I was in a season of discernment that involved clarifying my yeses within ministry. Up to that point, I had been involved in several arms of ministry: youth ministry, young adult ministry, adult faith formation, and retreat work. My vocation as a parent was growing as our family grew. Writing was emerging as a new piece of my call. I felt stuck between trying to hold on to what I once did […]

What Do I Really Want?

The question to be constantly asked in decision-making is “what do I really want?” Deep down, that’s what God wants too. God wants what is best for us. This isn’t something repugnant, or burdensome, or sad, or difficult. The way of life that God desires for us is the way of life we desire. “What do I really want?” is a simple question. But simple doesn’t mean easy. Usually this question is quite difficult to […]

Five Tips for Discerning Balance in a Busy Life

This past summer I have spent time in prayer, discerning how to find better balance in my busy life as a mother, wife, teacher, writer, volunteer, and all-around household manager. I can easily overextend myself, partly because I feel genuine enthusiasm for many different kinds of relationships and activities (well, maybe not the housecleaning). Yet I have increasingly felt a call to contemplation, which I understand as not only time spent in the presence of […]

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