Today, Always in the light of the Lord. We would aspire to always be, but in this mortal space, not always possible. This aspiration beckons us to discernment not only when the big questions confront us, but also in everyday life.
169. Discernment is necessary not only at extraordinary times, when we need to resolve grave problems and make crucial decisions. It is a means of spiritual combat for helping us to follow the Lord more faithfully. We need it at all times, to help us recognize God’s timetable, lest we fail to heed the promptings of his grace and disregard his invitation to grow. Often discernment is exercised in small and apparently irrelevant things, since greatness of spirit is manifested in simple everyday realities.*
Pope Francis advises us to practice the daily Ignatian Examen. The basics, plus many supporting links are on this page.
It involves striving untrammeled for all that is great, better and more beautiful, while at the same time being concerned for the little things, for each day’s responsibilities and commitments. For this reason, I ask all Christians not to omit, in dialogue with the Lord, a sincere daily “examination of conscience”. Discernment also enables us to recognize the concrete means that the Lord provides in his mysterious and loving plan, to make us move beyond mere good intentions.
* The tomb of Saint Ignatius of Loyola bears this thought-provoking inscription: Non coerceri a maximo, conteneri tamen a minimo divinum est (“Not to be confined by the greatest, yet to be contained within the smallest, is truly divine”).