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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A bit more on the art of discernment

In "The Art of Spiritual Direction" by W. Paul Jones there is a helpful way to discern with others when you need to do this. It is really personal discernment with a few who will listen well, ask probing questions and make suggestions; persons who are supportive and who know you reasonably well. They need, of course, to be persons you can trust. You come together and begin with prayer, then listen carefully to the person asking for help to know what God is about in his or her life; questions may be asked for clarification. The person shares with the others everything that seems pertinent to the situation. I think there should be some time to reflect and pray in silence before the listeners begin to share the feelings, perceptions, they have had in listening. They do not give advice. They then listen to the person to see where things are now. Usually the person takes a few days to reflect on the decision to be made before deciding, but sometimes it has become clear through the questions of his listeners. Then the ending prayer would be that of thanksgiving.

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