This year has been one of change for our family and perhaps yours as well. Loss of a loved one, new employment, and children graduating from school. What changes are you currently experiencing in your life? Do these changes cause you uncertainty or anxiety?
At such times, we might feel an inner need to recalibrate and evaluate if we are headed in the right direction. We might find ourselves asking – “Lord, what is your desire for me as I navigate these changes?
St. Francis Borgia, pray for us…and teach us to discern.
St. Francis Borgia, our patron, experienced similar life disruptions and often sought direction through the practice of discernment — a method of prayer developed by St Ignatius, founder of the religious order to which St. Francis Borgia belonged. Discernment, in its basic form, is the prayerful contemplation of whether a choice moves one closer to God or pulls one away from God. Ignatius referred to these as “motions of the soul.” To Ignatius, a choice moves us closer to God when it leads to an increase in love, faith, mercy, hope – or any qualities we know as gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Heading home on a Monday evening, I stop by South Church during Eucharistic Adoration. Sitting quietly, I consider a change in my life, a difficult choice or decision to be made. I place it before God. I contemplate the matter in silence with attention to how it moves my soul. I thank God for this time together and ask that He continue to make His will known to me. I will revisit this decision again in whatever quiet setting I can find. Over time, I hope to discern which choice more fully moves me toward God.
This is one example of how we might integrate discernment into our lives. When struggling with difficult decisions or life changes, consider asking St. Francis Borgia to guide you in discernment — a prayerful contemplation of which path will more fully move you closer to God.
Written by: Andy Schlidt
March 22, 2021