Friday, February 19, 2010

The Art of Discernment and simple steps

The Art of Listening to that still, small voice --
deep enough and it is the voice of God

Notes from RETREAT DAY February 20th 2010 Renton, WA

* How do we come to hear the voice of God in our busy lives?
* What is “God’s will” for me at this time in my life?


Discernment is often defined as “perceiving what is hidden or concealed” from our view by means of a “keenness of discrimination.” (Webster’s Dictionary). Yet in its fullness it is first a process: of “sifting and sorting” out what is true or right for me – be it a specific choice, a response, a lifestyle or our life’s purpose (i.e. vocation). Also, in this process we invite and involve the Spirit – in fact it’s all about God!

Thus, there is a difference between entering a particular Decision-making process - and a larger discernment. Often we can decide more easily between what we want and don’t want, what is more obviously good/healthy or not so healthy /helpful. Discernment is often a choice between two goods.

“There are many good things out there. Not all are good for me … at this time.” Sr. K. Dyckman, SNJM

We begin with a Practice of LISTENING, of noticing within, to tease out differences between:
· A Craving
· A Desire
· Our Deepest Desire: is this nudge coming from our most authentic self?

· When we follow the root to the core of ourselves and discover our deep desire to love, express, create a life with God’s grace, St. Ignatius notes, we will find this is the same as God’s will for us.

THE BIG Q. How do I know whether my deepest desire is what is God’s deepest desire/call for me?

CLUES: Energized; Joy, fruits of the Spirit; A sense of God’s presence or being called; work = prayer.

The Spiritual Goal of Discernment.

1. Receive God’s Love daily and Give back out of place of freedom and joy for gift given.

2. To become freed (from inordinate attachments) thus available to respond in Love in the circumstances of our lives.

3. To begin to Know our deepest desires and choose that which leads us closer to God. Entrusting ourselves to God’s care we offer our talents in becoming the person we have been created to be as we live out our life’s purpose most fully.
We begin to ask: how can I best serve?

TOOLS and Practices to uncover our deepest desires and listen for the voice of intuition, deep wisdom, God speaking:

A. Practice the EXAMEN review daily – in personal prayer and/or shared with others. Talk to God/Spirit/the Mystery/Source.
B. LISTEN . Daily Awareness: Noticing times of craving v. deeper desires; Discernment of Spirits.
C. BE PRESENT TO GOD. With you. Now. Sitting in silence & stillness Five minutes a day. Scripture or inspiration from sacred traditions can be conduit for power of grace coming into your

contact me to learn about the EXAMEN or other meditation disciplines tailored to your life.
or visit for coming events and Spiritual Exercises.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Upcoming events and new flyer on Spiritual Direction

Yesterday there were yellow Crocuses smiling at the sun and the scent of sarcophogi and phlox perfuming the air:
Celtic Spring is here!
Also, Chinese new year shares the weekend with St. Valentine's day.
Are we an interfaith world, or what?!

For info on my writings and a new tri-fold bold glossy flyer on "What is Spiritual Direction" go to this (or cut and paste in your browser!)


1) A DAY of Reflection on the topic of DISCERNMENT

FEBRUARY 20th 9 am - 12 noon

For the Deepest Voice, the still small voice, even the voice of God?

Come for REFLECTION, PRAYER, CHANT & Spiritual Conversation.

St. stephen the Martyr in Renton, WA
See calendar on Coming events page on my website -- link above.

MARCH 1 "A Taste of the Spiritual Exercises"

March 1 thru May 24 -- 12 week series
For more info on both events contact (253) 631-1940
Free will donation. All are welcome.