We don’t choose to be born, but we are given free choice. Through this we discover our passions and our vocation.
This simple daily ritual reminds us of our hallowed nature and that all we have can be used for love and service.
God’s incarnation makes sacred our very decisions and even the process of discernment. Every decision we make becomes an incarnation, a little Christmas through which God enters the world.
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.
God illumines a light into the world through the Annunciation. Mary’s yes comes in a place of freedom, hope, and not clinging. Ignatius gives us several exercises for making decisions with this kind of freedom.
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.
Sometimes you just need to ask God for what you desire.
Feminists often talk about “strong women”. But we rarely hear about “strong men” in the same way. True courage and strength means an embrace of genuine feminism—a feminism that reveals the beauty of male and female. Perhaps we can reexamine the meaning of a “strong man” as an effort to balance out our views of men and women.
Buddhism and Ignatian spirituality have many fascinating parallels.