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 Messiness of Politics and Spirituality

Politics stirs up deep emotions within us, but can we really separate our spirituality from politics? The messiness of elections speaks a lot to the messiness of discernment.

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 Power of the Desert

How do we deal with temptation and impulse? Holly says it’s hard, but maybe humility is the answer.

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.

The Mother’s Way of Living Dreams

Reaching our dreams through the daily decisions we make. The Mother from HIMYM gives us an example.

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.

A Lamp for My Journey

On retreat, the light of God more widely illuminates the path before us.

Apostleship: More than Discipleship

Being a Disciple is the first stage in the Christian life, but Christ is calling us to a deeper role: being an Apostle, one who is sent.

Changing States

Like materials that can change states with temperature (water, metal, plastic), we too change states but remain the same at the core.

The Discernment of Spirits – Part 3

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

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.