Discerning God’s Will

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