Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Discerning God's Will: Looking at "the why" of our decisions

In the sixth step of St. Ignatius’ method of discerning God’s will, St. Ignatius stresses the importance of paying attention to why we are contemplating certain actions, whether that be choosing a State in Life, choosing a person with whom to partner for life in living out one’s baptismal covenant, choosing which religious community one is considering, choosing one’s major in college, or contemplating less weighty decisions that we face in daily life.  Basically, St. Ignatius is calling us to live a reflective life, to take time in making decisions, to give ourselves space where we think things through and not act on impulse or do something simply because we feel pressured by others. Coming apart to look at the why  gives us the perspective that is needed to make wise decisions. When we take this time to look at the reasons, we are more likely to make a decision that we know God is asking of us, even if our friends go a different way or do differently than we would do.  We will experience deeper peace when the choices we make are consonant with or in harmony with the voice within. In other words, we are choosing to be self-directed and are strengthening our ability to be our own person. By doing this, we will truly grow in liking who we are and in realizing our oneness with our Creator God, who dwells in the very depth of our being.

Source: Discernment of Spirits by Warren Sazama, SJ, National Religious Vocation Conference, Chicago, IL 60615.

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