It’s much broader and deeper than you think.
Consolation and desolation are key to discerning God’s movement in your life, but these terms are easily misunderstood.
Have you ever received a gift with strings attached? Let’s remove the guilt, conditions, and baggage that often come with gift-giving.
Ignatius was not the only Jesuit who wrote spiritual exercises.
Ignatius says our purpose is to praise, reverence, and serve God. But this sounds like a rather selfish God.
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 Annunication. 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.