Seeking clarity is a process requiring patience, perseverance, and practice. It is a natural human response to make meaning of a situation and to discover ways forward that are clear and life-giving. The human brain is wired to make meaning of mystery, confusion, chaos even paralysis. For believers, seeking clarity is an act of trust that God is present in the process and that the Holy Spirit will reveal ways forward. Therefore, seeking clarity is twofold, it requires our own efforts and an openness as believers to the power of the Holy Spirit.
For believers, in the midst of many well-meaning voices offering advice and a way forward, the voice of God will often speak through a wisdom figure or spiritual director. In times of deep confusion, it is wise to listen to the wisdom of a trusted guide, spiritual companion and, when needed, a competent professional.
Seeking clarity is part of Ignatian discernment. It requires practice and patience. Contemplative practices such as prayer, deep breathing, being with God in nature or other life-giving contexts are necessary. These allow the brain to settle into a calm space together with an openness of heart in which clarity emerges.
In the present moment, our Church is seeking clarity for ways forward for the people of God. Synodal spirituality offers various ways of seeking clarity such as deep listening, contemplative practices and intentional dialogue. The clarity that emerges from this new Synodal approach will embrace the diverse nature of our Church as we enlarge the space of our tent.
Today we invite you to place yourself into a space of openness and calm to practice seeking clarity through a spiritual exercise.
With thanks to Liz Kerr and Kerry Rush from JISA Faber in Queensland, for this contribution to the JISA Discernment Series. Liz is a Spiritual Director and Giver of the Spiritual Exercises in all their forms, and Kerry is an Ignatian formator and giver of the First Spiritual Exercises.