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:

Magis

Magis is about freedom and restless desire for greater things.

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.

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...

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 Sound of Music & Grover

It had been a while since I had seen The Sound of Music so I was lucky when I got to see a bit of it the other day. It wasn’t long before I saw how much Ignatian spirituality could be found in it.

Pope Francis on Ignatian Spirituality

Pope Francis on prayer, discernment, and God in all things.

A Lamp for My Journey

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

The Fruits of the Spirit(s)

How do we know we’re moving toward union with God? Simple: we can know that by the fruits we see. Ignatius and Paul may use different words, but they’re in sync with the idea of “living by the Spirit”.

The Privilege of Discernment

Discernment of major decisions, like having a job you love or choosing where you live, are a privilege.

You Have No Purpose (In the Way that You Think)

God’s will for us is not some predetermined blueprint that negates our freedom. Let’s examine how the Ignatian tradition understands discernment and purpose. Hint: There’s a bigger Dream for the world. And Disney Pixar’s Soul helps reminds us of this, too.

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.