For the last two and a half years I was a Jesuit. The Society of Jesus has been around nearly 500 years and has been at the forefront of spreading the Good News of Jesus throughout the world. But the best part about the Jesuits is that part of this good news is showing the world that God permeates every moment of our lives with a love that can be found if we just pay attention. Jesuits are poets, scientists, musicians, writers, actors, counsellors, physicians, astronomers, and singers. Why? Because God is there. They pay attention.
Discernment is one of the ways St Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, helps us pay attention to God. This especially comes in handy when we’re making major life decisions, such as I recently have done in deciding to leave religious life and pursue another vocation. Attentiveness is the first step to coming to know more how God works. It may seem hard but who hasn’t found God in the beauty of a gorgeous vista or a new baby? An even deeper, simpler question could be: Who has found God in Star Trek? Or in your commute? Or in sushi? Or in occasional laziness? Or in swing dancing?
“Discernment presupposes an ability to reflect on the ordinary events of one’s life, a habit of personal prayer, self-knowledge, knowledge of one’s deepest desires and openness to God’s direction and guidance. Discernment is a prayerful “pondering” or “mulling over” the choices a person wishes to consider. In his discernment, the person’s focus should be on a quiet attentiveness to God and sensing rather than thinking.”
– Charles Jackson, SJ
This blog hopes to mull over these God questions from an Ignatian perspective, maybe with a scripture reflection or two, or some personal anecdotes—being attentive to how God permeates the moments of our exciting and mundane life.