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:

Ignatian Spirituality in Marriage, Family, and Relationships

A conversation with Tim Muldoon on how Ignatian principles can be applied to all kinds of relationships.

Discerning Advent – Preparation

People had to discern John the Baptist’s message. Was he the messiah? What were the signs they saw? Discernment includes many signs, consolation and desolation, and movements from the spirits that prepare the way to a choice.

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.

Consolation & Desolation

Consolation and desolation are key to discerning God’s movement in your life, but these terms are easily misunderstood.

The Stories We Tell

What are the narratives that so affect our lives? Lent is a time to re-evaluate the stories that we tell both to ourselves and to others.

Rooted in Love

Suffering, grace, and purpose from the Ignatian lens of Mags Blackie, author of Rooted in Love.

Divine GPS

What is God’s plan? Well, it’s not like some divine GPS, that’s for sure.

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 Heart & The Gut

I tend not to think about the bodily language we use to describe feelings. But feelings are just that, physical feelings occurring somewhere in our bodies. Let’s explore two such places: the heart and the gut.

Being Christian: A Christian Disposition

How do we go about having a Christian disposition? The Enneagram is a helpful tool in becoming our best selves in God.

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.