Links for the Weekend

The visionary paintings of James Tissot in America. Pop psychology discovers Ignatian discernment. (“Using the 4 D’s to find more meaning and purpose in life.”) Adolfo Nicolas, SJ, on the beatification of Bernardo de Hoyos, SJ.  (Litany of Jesuit saints here.) Peter Nixon on the washing of feet. An awesome view of the Sistine Chapel.

Sexuality and Ignatian Spirituality

Tim Muldoon, who blogs here at dotMagis, has published an excellent article on sexuality and Ignatian spirituality in The Way, a journal published by the British Jesuits.  Here’s a taste: To imitate Christ and to feel as Christ would feel—these constitute the method the Exercises prescribe for deepening union with God. They amount to a discipline of all of one’s senses and emotions, so that these faculties may be put at the disposal of Christ […]

Congressman Cao’s Discernment

Anh “Joseph” Cao got a lot of attention last December when he became the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to Congress. He was in the news again recently when he became the only Republican to vote in favor of the health reform bill that passed the House of Representatives. Cao is a former Jesuit seminarian. In a recent interview, he talked about the importance of Ignatian discernment in his work: I still use the Ignatian […]

Consolation, Desolation, and Feelings

Consolation and desolation are key ideas in Ignatian discernment, and they are not easy to understand.  Abbot Joseph has a good post about the nuances. Even for those who are serious about the spiritual life, it is good to make the distinction between subjective feelings and objective reality when trying to discern one’s spiritual state as consolation or desolation.  If you are grieved over your sins, don’t call it desolation, for this grief is the […]

Finding Your Way

If someone you know is looking for direction in life, point them to “How to Discern the Elements of Your Personal Vocation” by Peter Ryan, SJ. It’s an excellent essay that sets forth “points to bear in mind,” the first of which is that “sincere discernment infallibly succeeds.” Another point is that we “discern only what to try.” After all, we do not know the future, and we could die at any moment. The real […]

Getting Started in Ignatian Discernment

The goal of Ignatian discernment is to discover where God is active in our lives.  Here is a simple two-step exercise to get started with it. It is adapted from a “spiritual warm-up” developed by Tim Muldoon in his book The Ignatian Workout: 1. Be quiet (turn off radios, TVs, computers, video games; close books and magazines). 2. Think about what really makes you happy. Step 1 isn’t easy. Muldoon suggests focusing on your breathing. Or you […]

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