This is Week 8 of Desires of the Heart, a 10-week series on Ignatian spirituality and prayer. The text below is meant to companion the audio teaching. Click play and feel free to follow along. You may also download a PDF this week’s “handout” here.
“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:11-13 (GNT)
In his life, St Ignatius made some poor choices. In the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius gives us a few ways to make important decisions, life decisions such as state of life, career choice, or moving across country. Here are some pointers:
- The choices in front of me ought to be between morally correct things, not sinful things
- My choices should be for serving God’s greater glory
- I should be in a place of freedom and indifference between the choices
- Never make a decision while in desolation!
- List and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each choice in their various dimensions. Remove anything from the list that might be selfish inclinations.
- I imagine a stranger who had sought my help in his or her attempt to better respond to God’s call. What would I tell this person? I see what advice would I give to this person for whom I would want the best.
- At the moment before my death, where there would be freedom and clarity, what would be the decision I would want to have made?
- I imagine being in heaven, before Christ my judge. My life has ended and I am talking with Him about my decision. What decision would give me happiness and joy in presenting it to Christ on the day of judgement?
- Resources on Ignatian discernment and decision-making
- A practical framework for making decisions (step 1 above)
- What’s Your Decision? – A book from Loyola Press that lays out steps clearly with excellent real-life examples
|If you would like to offer this 10-week series to your group or parish you can download a full PDF of the programme here. Contributions are requested if you offer it in active ministry setting.|
Listen to the audio teaching and meditation…
Music by Kevin MacLeod