Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Discernment and Decision making – two good choices

November 8, 2017

DiscernmentHave you ever felt paralysed by a decision? Have you ever felt so aware of more than one really good possibility that it seems impossible to choose?

Although Ignatian discernment is so much more than simply a way to make decisions, the principles or guidelines inherent in an Ignatian understanding of discernment help us to understand the motivation behind our decisions and so to choose wisely.

In a few blog posts I am going to address some aspects of discernment in the Ignatian tradition and look at some of the ways in which we can cooperate or resist the action of God in our decisions.

Two Good Things

It seems obvious. St Ignatius reminds us that discernment only takes place between two or more GOOD things. We do not discern between something good and something bad. In fact our conscience should be alert enough to prompt us not to make a choice towards something which may lead us away from God.

This seems obvious, but in my experience it is often more subtle that in might at first seem. It presupposes an alert and attentive listening to our conscience. 

So the first step in discernment is that of waking our conscience… being aware of the ways we avoid issues, fail to be informed of the consequences of our choices, accept the status quo or even maybe take on attitudes and stances of the society in which we live without ever really questioning whether they are our values and attitudes.

Today’s challenge:

Recognise one area of my life in which I should try to become better informed before making judgement.

 

 

 

Discernment and Decision making – two good choices

November 19, 2015

DiscernmentHave you ever felt paralysed by a decision? Have you ever felt so aware of more than one really good possibility that it seems impossible to choose?

Although Ignatian discernment is so much more than simply a way to make decisions, the principles or guidelines inherent in an Ignatian understanding of discernment help us to understand the motivation behind our decisions and so to choose wisely.

In a few blog posts I am going to address some aspects of discernment in the Ignatian tradition and look at some of the ways in which we can cooperate or resist the action of God in our decisions.

Two Good Things

It seems obvious. St Ignatius reminds us that discernment only takes place between two or more GOOD things. We do not discern between something good and something bad. In fact our conscience should be alert enough to prompt us not to make a choice towards something which may lead us away from God.

This seems obvious, but in my experience it is often more subtle that in might at first seem. It presupposes an alert and attentive listening to our conscience. 

So the first step in discernment is that of waking our conscience… being aware of the ways we avoid issues, fail to be informed of the consequences of our choices, accept the status quo or even maybe take on attitudes and stances of the society in which we live without ever really questioning whether they are our values and attitudes.

Today’s challenge:

Recognise one area of my life in which I should try to become better informed before making judgement.

 

 

 

A Great Read!

April 27, 2015
Jesus – A Pilgrimage by James Martin, SJ
I am reading an absolutely brilliant book on Jesus these days and I couldn’t resist letting you know about it!  For all of us who love Jesus and are interested in knowing more about him I recommend this lovely read! It is good that the word ‘Pilgrimage’ is included in the title – as that is what it really is for me – a pilgrimage into Jesus through the reflections and words of James Martin.  Enough said by me – read James Martin’s own words: “…I would like to invite you to meet the Jesus you already may know, but in a new way.  Or, if you don’t know much about Jesus, I would like to introduce him to you.  Overall, I would like to introduce you to the Jesus I know, and love, the person at the center of my life.”

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS – GOD REVEALED IN MANY WAYS…

December 20, 2014

We made it into the church just as a fierce storm burst overhead and the darkened clouds released a deluge of water.  I was accompanying one of the novices to church for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  I had been the day before and came to show the way to the church as we were away on retreat and in unfamiliar territory.  I found a quiet spot in the middle of the church far from the many groups of people who were waiting at various points around the building.  Given the number of people I knew I would be in for a long wait and settled into a peaceful time of prayer.  After a while I found myself observing the people who were waiting.  There were the very young and the elderly, there were school age children, teenagers and vast numbers of young people – some of them sitting close to boyfriends and girlfriends as they waited.  Some people were alone, others came as a family or in groups of friends.  There were parents taking their small children to Reconciliation.  I was especially touched to see a number of women and men taking tiny babies in with them.  There were students, retired people and some people who were clearly coming straight from work – with brief cases and laptops in hand.  I found myself aware of the most incredible sense of God’s presence: in that vast array of people, in the awareness that people were there to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in the sound of the rain pounding on the roof and bouncing on the paths and roads outside and in the sheer power of the storm that continued to rage above us.  I was struck by the unity of all things in God.  On that afternoon it seemed that all things were in cooperation to offer an almost tangible way of discovering something of God revealed in every aspect of life.

THE JOY OF BEING ON REREAT – PRAYING FOR OUR WORLD AND PRAYING FOR YOU…

April 7, 2014

I leave for my retreat tomorrow and I am so, so happy to have the great gift of time for silence and prayer.  I can’t wait to enjoy this time with God and with the scriptures.  I will be holding the world and its needs in my heart – and I will be praying for you…In companionship and prayer…

Ash Wednesday

March 5, 2014

Image

How will you choose life throughout lent?

Ash Wednesday – Reflect – where did I meet the love of God today?

‘…Today, I call heaven and earth to witness against you: I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends the length of time that you stay in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors Abraham,Isaac and Jacob that he would give them.’

Deuteronomy 30

All things give praise and service

February 21, 2014

distraction

My work varies widely – from the intent listening and privileged space of spiritual direction and vocation accompaniment to the mundane tasks of dealing with contractors and workmen. I think this constant change of task has helped me to realise in a new way what it means to find God in all things. At times I long for my life to be less ‘bitty’ with fewer distractions and interruptions – perhaps part of me still imagines drifting around a convent somewhere being holy! The reality is that there are numerous pulls on me – chaplaincy, vocations ministry, local leadership, accompaniment, digging a basement, doing the shopping… the list goes on! As I prayed this morning with the gospel text:

“Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let them renounce themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8)

I was aware of that call to go beyond myself, to respond to each person, each situation with generosity, openness and availability. The self renunciation isn’t about forgetting myself, putting my needs to one side, but about recognising where the focus needs to lie. When the focus is on God, and on the needs of the other I am more free, more able to respond, and more loving in my interactions. Its then that I can really meet God who is present in each situation, and really allow all the different aspects of my everyday life to give praise and service to God.

A THANKSGIVING PILGRIMAGE…

May 14, 2013

From Thursday May 9th to Monday May 13th Tyas and I made a pilgrimage to a number of places where there are shrines of Mary.  This pilgrimage is our thanksgiving for Tyas’ novitiate which comes to an end in early July.  We were able to get to several of the most famous shrines in this area – in fact we made “a novena of visits” – nine shrines in all.  It was lovely to spend time in praying in those sacred places made holy by love, prayer and devotion to Our Lady.  Thank you Lord – for Tyas – our soon to be professed FCJ.  Thank you Mary for being our guide and inspiration.   “Our Good Mother, beg of your Divine Son to give us His blessing and please give us yours also…”

SWEET SINGING IN THE CHOIR!

May 5, 2013

It was the turn of our Basic Ecclesial Community to form the choir for evening Mass today – Sunday 5th May.  Barbara, Tyas and I joined the choir.  We were well prepared having had four choir practices during the course of the last month.  I really enjoyed the practices which were a lot of fun and which always ended with tea and refreshments!  It was a great experience to sing at Mass this evening – it was lovely being part of a group with such a common purpose.  The young woman who was conducting drew the music out of us with sensitivity and enthusiasm and she skillfully pulled us through a few tricky points!  The service flowed beautifully.  We had the extra gift of being inspired by a visiting priest who told us about his life as a missionary in Papua New Guinea.  What a blessed evening!  Thank God for Church, for the Eucharist, for music and singing!

PRAYING FOR OUR WORLD THIS HOLY WEEK….

March 27, 2013

As we move into these very sacred days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday let us hold our world and all its needs in our hearts and prayer…We walk the way of the cross with Jesus and stay with him all the way to his resurrection and celebrate the gift of transforming love given to us all…Uniting with all who are praying at this time…