Discernment – a new way of proceeding, in a world hungry for change and a deeper sense of its humanity

The Spirit of God is at work in the world, and to tune into what God is doing in our lives, in our world, is to discern. The recent workings of the Plenary Council, brought the practice of discernment to the fore, yet it is seen throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is also central to Ignatian Spirituality, when five hundred years ago, Ignatius of Loyola discerned the different spirits at work within him, which led him to become increasingly sensitive to the choices that were life-giving and those that were not.

So, what can discernment bring to modern society, where the pace of life is often frenetic and superficial desires abound? Discernment puts us in touch with our authentic desires, connecting us with the desires of the Spirit of God, deep within us. Discernment invites the individual or group to pause, reflect and listen to the movements of the heart. Which actions and desires, bring life and energy, and which result in emptiness or desolation, where is God’s Spirit moving and active in our lives or in the life of the group?

As a society we have grown increasingly weary of the fractured nature of public and political discourse, of dominate voices of wealth and power, often silencing indigenous voices and those on the margins. Discernment opens a new way of being human, a more gentle, respectful, and loving way of being in touch with ourselves, others, and the Spirit of God at work in our world.

Discernment is at the centre of Pope Francis’ desire for a Synodal Church, a Church that is more inclusive through listening, dialogue, and prayer. The evolution of the Church and the world cries out for a different way of being, discernment is an invitation to collaborate with the Spirit in God’s work of ongoing creation.

The process of discernment and intentional or spiritual conversation is increasingly used within schools, boardrooms, parishes, and various community and ministry groups. Over the next few months, we shall be sharing reflections and Spiritual Exercises on discernment, as we seek to embrace a new way of proceeding, in a world hungry for change and a deeper sense of its humanity.

How to discern the presence and work of God

Sixteen spiritual exercises to help you discern the presence and work of God in yourself, to teach groups Ignatian ‘discernment in common’ so that they may discern the presence and work of God in their group and their place in it, and to give away these spiritual exercises to receivers who will give them to others in need.

These exercises come from a larger collection of exercises called God’s Field Hospital. Developed by Michael Hansen SJ, Director from JISA’s First Spiritual Exercises Ministry, firstly in response to the Covid pandemic, and now for much wider application.

Exercises like these were first offered by St Ignatius Loyola 500 years ago and have helped many people during times of feast and famine, enrichment, and plague, inside and outside churches. Each spiritual exercise is a standalone prayer, and will draw on your lived experience, your present feelings, and desires.

Exploring Discernment

Here we share a compilation of reflections and formation from members of our JISA community. We hope you draw much fruitfulness from this material which we have enjoyed bringing to you.

Discernment Retreat Experiences

Jan 2024
01 January 2024

The Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life – AVAILABLE ALL YEAR

What is God inviting me to? Nourishment – Discernment – Clarity – Freedom Deepen your relationship with God, nourish your ongoing prayer life and discern God's will for you. The full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola […]

01 January 2024

The Concise Spiritual Exercises – AVAILABLE ALL YEAR

Highlights of the Spiritual Exercises for busy people seeking nourishment and clarity Would you like a deeper prayer life and to discover the desires God has for you? The full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius […]

Aug 2024
31 August 2024

Ignatian Silent Weekend Retreat – Brisbane QLD

Come away and rest in the Spirit at Santa Teresa Spirituality Centre The JISA Faber Team warmly welcomes all who seek a quiet time of encounter, of rest, contemplation, prayer and discernment through an Ignatian […]

Sep 2024
06 September 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats – Pymble NSW

The JISA Canisius Team warmly welcomes all who seek a time of rest, contemplation, prayer, and discernment, in these Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats. Your retreat includes private accommodation, all meals, spiritual accompaniment, and prayer material at our Pymble retreat centre, Peter […]

JISA Canisius – NSW, Peter Canisius House
102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble, NSW 2073
+ Google Map
06 September 2024

Light Retreat

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience a silent retreat? We invite you to experience a short residential silent retreat over a weekend. This is a sacred time for you to […]

JISA Canisius – NSW, Peter Canisius House
102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble, NSW 2073
+ Google Map
13 September 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat Sevenhill – BOOKED OUT

  ‘Come away to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ Mark 6.30 The JISA Sevenhill Team warmly welcomes all who seek a time of rest, contemplation, prayer, and discernment, in these Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats. Your retreat includes private accommodation, all […]

JISA Sevenhill – SA, College Road
Sevenhill, SA
+ Google Map
13 September 2024

What is God asking of me? Weekend Discernment Retreat

If you ever wonder what God may be asking of you? Come and join us as we explore ways of discerning the voice of God speaking to us at the core of our being. God […]

Community of the Holy Name Spirituality Centre, 40 Cavanagh St
Cheltenham, Victoria 3192
+ Google Map
Oct 2024
14 October 2024

3 to 8 Day Individually Guided Retreats – Online

Are you seeking a contemplative space of prayer and reflection? A space to find stillness, rest and renewal? A time to stop and listen to God’s whisper of love? The following guided online retreats will […]

Online,
14 October 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat – Melbourne VIC

The JISA Campion Team warmly welcomes all who seek a time of rest, contemplation, prayer, and discernment, in these Ignatian Silent Directed Residential Retreats.   Your retreat includes accommodation, all meals, spiritual accompaniment, facilitation, and […]

Community of the Holy Name Spirituality Centre, 40 Cavanagh St
Cheltenham, Victoria 3192
+ Google Map
25 October 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat 5 Days – Brisbane QLD

‘Come away to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ Mark 6.30 Take some time out of your busy life, slow down, and pause; to discern God’s invitation to you in the still quiet moments of […]

25 October 2024

Deepening my Experience of the Spiritual Exercises, 8 Day Retreat QLD

Have you made the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius? Do you recall how the Spiritual Exercises transformed your life? Would you like to deepen your experience of them? You are invited to this 8-Day silent […]

Nov 2024
01 November 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats – Pymble NSW

The JISA Canisius Team warmly welcomes all who seek a time of rest, contemplation, prayer, and discernment, in these Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats. Your retreat includes private accommodation, all meals, spiritual accompaniment, and prayer material at our Pymble retreat centre, Peter […]

JISA Canisius – NSW, Peter Canisius House
102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble, NSW 2073
+ Google Map
01 November 2024

Light Retreat

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience a silent retreat? We invite you to experience a short residential silent retreat over a weekend. This is a sacred time for you to […]

JISA Canisius – NSW, Peter Canisius House
102 Mona Vale Road, Pymble, NSW 2073
+ Google Map
29 November 2024

Ignatian Silent Directed Retreat – Sevenhill SA

‘Come away to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ Mark 6.30 The JISA Sevenhill Team warmly welcomes all who seek a time of rest, contemplation, prayer, and discernment, in these Ignatian Silent Directed Retreats. Your retreat includes private accommodation, all meals, […]

JISA Sevenhill – SA, College Road
Sevenhill, SA
+ Google Map
Dec 2024
02 December 2024

3 to 8 Day Individually Guided Retreats – Online

Are you seeking a contemplative space of prayer and reflection? A space to find stillness, rest and renewal? A time to stop and listen to God’s whisper of love? The following guided online retreats will […]

Online,