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:

What gives you life?

This question, in the Ignatian sense, moves us toward the love of God.

The Bible Project: Our Purpose (Part 3)

Part 3 of 3 of an interview with Tim Mackie and Jon Collins of The Bible Project, exploring some of the biblical themes that connect to Ignatian spirituality.

This Is Your Life

You’re waiting for certain things to happen or settle into place so you can start your “real” life. Yet, you’re already there.

The Principle & Foundation: Ignatian Spirituality in a Nutshell

Ignatian spirituality can be summed up in the few paragraphs at the beginning of the Exercises: sharing life with God and responding in gratitude to God’s gifts in freedom.

Opting for the Poor

Some practical ways to witness to God’s love and opt for the poor.

Decisions are Difficult

We’re not always good at making decisions, but here are some God-centred methods that can help.

Desiring Our Happily Ever After

The deep desires God plants within our hearts are ultimately oriented to the unfolding of God’s Kingdom; this includes discovering who we’re meant to be.

Remember the Magic

Why did I choose this path? What brought me here? Sometimes we need to be reminded of why we are where we are.

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.

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.