Discernment Resources

Making decisions is hard. Ignatian discernment comes in handy when making major life decisions, like when to leave a job, where to move, which person to date, or whether to pursue marriage. Here are a list of resources for decision-making the Ignatian way!

The first section is worth browsing through for the purpose of initial reflection, an Ignatian must. Narrative and questioning is helpful as a first start. The second section is more practical information on Ignatian discernment.

But first consider these two entry-points into the world of Ignatian discernment:

The Discernment of Spirits – Part 2

A look at the basic rules for the Discernment of Spirits. This is the second part of a three-part series on Ignatius’ Rules for the Discernment of Spirits.

Interview with Becky Eldredge

Listen to my conversation with Becky Eldredge on the Examen, spiritual direction, and young adults.

Desire

Desires are so important in discovering who you’re meant to become. God speaks to us through our desires. Here’s a bit more on this important Ignatian principle.

Alma’s Way is the Ignatian Way

A new PBS Kids show speaks to the Ignatian pattern we see in the Examen.

The Gifts of the Spirit

Here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for Pentecost (this Sunday). You'll find the full article (link below) has an Ignatian slant. "On Pentecost Sunday, God breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles to remind them that they were not...

Discerning Advent – Darkness

Incarnation occurs all the time, even in our decisions. We are in a whirl of confusion and feel like we’re in darkness. Advent is a time of sitting with those raw feelings and emotions because discernment begins with observation.

The Discernment of Spirits – Part 1

How do we know the voice of God from the voice of the evil one? This is the first part of a three-part series on Ignatius’ Rules for the Discernment of Spirits.

Doing What We Love (FB Live Audio)

Are you doing what you love in your career and life? Would you do something different if you had the freedom? Discussing Ignatian freedom, desire, and discernment.

The Secret, Revealed

What is this “secret” St Paul says God has revealed to all peoples? Tapping into it can be by way of Ignatian spirituality.

KonMari Your Spiritual Life in 6 Steps

How can you use Marie Kondō’s tidying method to declutter your spiritual life. It’s simple Ignatian discernment.

Get a quick overview

A 5-day email series on Ignatian discernment offering prayerful guidance and reflection questions.

Follow the Process

This guide will offer you a process and framework for discerning a particular decision using the approaches and prayer methods in the Ignatian tradition.

Take a deep-dive

A paid course with 2.5 hours of content, giving you nearly everything Ignatius said about discernment and decision-making.

Step 1: Listen

What’s my purpose? – Assessing your talents.
The Principle & Foundation – Ignatius’ statement of our purpose in God (the foundation for everything)
Consolation and Desolation – Hearing the voice of God
Three Circumstances for Making a Decision – Which one are you in?
The Discernment of Spirits – A 3-part series on Ignatius’ insights on hearing the voice of God.
Who You Are: Moana’s Call to Discernment
Three Spiritual Signals: Desires, Feelings, and Challenges
Changing States – A reflection on life changes.
Reading Your Heart – Barney Stinson tells us about discerning our feelings.
The Heart & The Gut – More on reading our interior feelings.
We Can Trust Our Experience – Ignatius’ stance on our experiences.
Dreams & Imagination – Using our imagination as a discernment tool.
Does It Spark Joy? – An important question to ask in the discernment process.
The Sound of Music & Grover – Maria and Grover give us some tips on discernment.
Discerning Advent – Using the Advent and Christmas story as a narrative, we explore Ignatian discernment and decision-making.
A format for personal decision-making by John Veltri, SJ
The brain science behind decision-making – Hidden Brain, NPR
Discernment Wisdom by Becky Eldredge

Step 2: Act

Suscipe, the Radical Prayer – Detachment is the first step in discernment.
Decisions are Difficult – Discernment is not the same as deciding
Ignatian Indifference
– Open the space to let God be God.
The Examen – An important discernment prayer practice.
Election – True discernment and decision-making ought to be about “selling” and casting off false masks, not “adding on” to our lives.
What’s Your Decision? – An excellent and practical book to making decisions using Ignatian discernment.
Where will you be waiting for me? – Trust that God will be waiting for you whatever decision you make.
A Way to Discern God’s Will – A broad overview of the Ignatian method.
Communal Discernment – Others can be valuable resources in discernment.
The Power of No – How quitting might be the answer.
I’m Just Experimenting – Experimentation can help with discernment.
An Ignatian Framework for Making a Decision – The Ignatian method in 11 steps.
A Presentation on Decision-Making
Being a Contemplative in Action – Steps to make discernment part of your everyday.
Spiritual Direction – Q&As and resources; More on spiritual direction; Find a spiritual director here or here.