St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) believed that our deepest desire is the same as God’s call for us – to become the best and most noble human beings we can ever be. Although we all share this fundamental call, the way unfolds for each human person is different since God’s call is unique for each individual.
Journeying in uncharted territory
In practice, it is not always easy to identify God’s call, both in life-changing decisions as well as in day to day choices. St Ignatius’ insight into God’s ways and his sensitivity to people came together to make up his concept of discernment.
Making good decisions
St Ignatius proposed a way of discerning, a compass to navigate our way towards better decisions:
First, pray to be free of undue preferences and for the desire to proceed how God wants me to.
Second, consider the pros and cons of each option in the light of the values of the Gospel.
Third, listen to your emotions, desires, energy, willingness to love and trust the Lord. Consider how these change with time and prayer.
Fourth, bring these inner stirrings to God in prayer and use them as signposts that lead you to His call.
Good and loving God, my source of love and light – thank you for bringing me today in a spirit of generosity. May I honor You by keeping an open mind. May I voice my truth and listen with an open heart. May I discern your will to unite in fruitful outcome. I ask for your wisdom and grace, to use my talents for the betterment of others. With gratitude, I offer this prayer in your name. Amen.
Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap