Paul writes – Maggi Dawn recently offered some good thoughts on personal discernment that draw on the very helpful Ignatian tradition. She writes:
“…Ignatius defines consolation as "Every increase in faith, hope and love, and all interior joy that invites and attracts to what is heavenly, and to the salvation of our soul, by filling it with peace and quiet in its Creator and Lord."
Desolation, he says, is "What is entirely the opposite of consolation … darkness of soul, turmoil of spirit, inclination to what is low and earthly, restlessness arising from many disturbances which lead to lack of faith, lack of hope, and lack of love. The soul is wholly slothful, tepid, sad, and separated, as it were, from its Creator and Lord."
Maggi tells of a friend who called on her recently when he was making some decisions in relation to his own life. Her advice included the following, which draws on Ignatian principles:
"Regardless of what is sensible, and regardless of what you think you "ought" to do, which of the courses ahead of you makes you feel alive, makes your heart open wider, makes you feel hopeful and as if the future is opening up not closing down? That is the route you should go."