discernment

Nick Hanrahan reflects on his vocational journey with JRS and his hopes for the synod on young people. Hundreds of bishops from around the world will gather this month to participate in the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops. The Synod will examine ‘Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment’; a topic that, as a young Catholic, has prompted me to reflect on what faith and discernment means to me.My own faith came alive through an experience that made me realise for the first time that...
Photo by xflickrx at flickr.com
In October 2018, bishops of the Catholic Church will gather in the Vatican to discuss ‘Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment’. Fr Giacomo Costa SJ, Special Secretary for the Synod of Bishops, describes the unique preparation for this meeting and says that the renewal of solidarity between the generations must be a priority for the Church and the whole of society. The Church is preparing for another synod: the XVth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held...
© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
After the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples had only one instruction to follow in the midst of their fear and uncertainty: go to Galilee. That is still an instruction to us today, says Brian Purfield, because we are in the same place as the disciples: ‘This is where we live: after the resurrection but before the return, entrusted with a message that is wonderful, but the import of which we do not quite understand.’ Where is our Galilee, and how do we get there? As a general rule,...
Pope Francis
13 March 2013 was the date of the historic election of the first Jesuit pope. Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ took the name of Francis and in the five years since, he has captured headlines, imaginations and hearts worldwide. Nicholas Austin SJ looks at one of the foundation stones of Francis’ papacy and, indeed, his life as a Jesuit: discernment. What, according to Pope Francis, does it mean to be a discerning Christian? When Pope Francis was asked, in the famous interview published by Thinking...
Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash
A new audio resource, Women of God, Women of the Cross, from the Jesuits in Britain introduces you to the women who encountered Jesus during his passion. Using our senses to enter into their stories as we listen to them is not an end in itself, says Gemma Simmonds CJ. The application of the senses, as Ignatius calls it, is an instrument of prayer and discernment, and one that extols faculties that have been – and, too often, still are – associated with women and disparaged. Of all the ways...
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
The writings of Ignatius of Loyola are not the only texts to which we can turn as we seek to understand and practise discernment. The authors of the New Testament, as they sought to explore what it meant for God to have revealed himself in Christ, had plenty to say about how we can discover where God is, and is not, at work in our lives. Nicholas King SJ identifies certain passages that can aid our Lenten study of discernment. The pope is currently asking the Church to do something at...
Photo by Burst on Unsplash
It was precisely an exercise in discernment of spirits that enabled Rob Marsh SJ to offer this Ignatian introduction to the practice that will be the focus of our attention this Lent. Join him in a careful consideration of ‘one particular microsecond of one particular life, and one paragraph of many where Ignatius catalogues the way the good and bad spirit work’, and see an example of Ignatian discernment at work. Just a microsecond of my day:I am looking at my computer and hesitating to...
Jigsaw Credit Hans-Peter Gauster via Unsplash
I was fascinated to come across the work of the psychologist Paul Bloom recently. In his book Against Empathy –  The Case for Rational Compassion, he challenges the received wisdom about the importance of empathy.  The ability to empathise, “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is rightly valued. We also know that all sorts of pathologies come from a lack of empathy - psychopaths, sociopaths etc. When Donald Trump tweets negatively about a particular group or country, we are...
Fr General, Arturo Sosa SJ, has sent a letter to Jesuits and their partners in mission around the world, addressing ‘Discernment in Common’.  Discernment, in the Ignatian tradition, is understood as seeking and finding the will of God, especially in important decisions. It is strongly connected to what is known as ‘the movement of spirits’ in Ignatian spirituality.  The habit of regularly reflecting on these movements, the ‘examen’, enables people to understand what is moving them...
birds in flight
Defining the qualities of an Ignatian leader is an all but impossible task, says Sarah Broscombe, and so it should be, because Ignatian leadership cannot be reduced to, ‘a tidy theory with accompanying tools and practices. It is a disposition of mind, heart and will.’ There are, however, certain traits that can usefully act as ‘compass bearings’ for those who want to understand what leadership means in the Ignatian tradition. What is your gut reaction when you hear the word ‘leadership’?...

Pages