Discernment: Consider the Unavoidable

by Sister Julie Ann on March 19, 2012

On Saturday, March 17, 2012, in the mood of March Madness, St. Patrick celebrating and a magnificent day of sun and summer temperatures, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity witnessed 30 Creighton University students pause to consider the unavoidable-decision-making and how to do it. Our Vocation Team was invited to sit in on practical discernment talks provided by Susan Naatz, Fr. Paul Coelho, S.J. and Michael Rossmann, S.J. and to interact with discerners. 

Grounded in Ignatian spirituality with appropriate focus given to unearthing the basics of consolation and desolation, the day’s topics included “How have I made Decisions in my life” to “Confronting the Demons in my life” to “So now…How do I make a decision Ignatian Style”. Helpful in one of the sessions was Joe Currie’s Letting Go, Letting God which clarified the importance of filtering out moral, spiritual, psychological and socialogical demons. Prayer for indifference in the midst of deciding between two goods was stressed more than once as key to doing good discernment. One model of this type of prayer is St. Francis Prayer before the Crucifix, a plea for interior freedom.
Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart. Give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true command. Amen.
All took notes on 2 methods of decision-making based on Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. Click here for the first method. The second method encouraged use of the imagination e.g. imagine yourself with another person who is making the same decision. What advice would you give him or her? Imagine yourself at your death. Are you still happy with your decision? Imagine yourself before Christ. Would you still make this decision? 

3 thoughts on “Discernment: Consider the Unavoidable”

  1. Anne Marie Lom says:

    Oh, how I love how you synthesized St. Francis with St. Ignatius… a wonderful combination of spiritualities and discernment. Thank you for this most welcome posting!

  2. WSM says:

    Helpful. The method using one’s imagination makes so much sense.

  3. S.Mary Ann says:

    This day was renewing, inspiring, educational, prayerful, filled with energy, and a whole lot of other grace filled experiences! The University students that participated were especially faith-filled young adults desiring to grow in their relationship with God, self, and others! It was a wonderful gift to participate in this day! Thanks so much Fr. Paul, Michael, and Susan!!!

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