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February 16, 2017

Book: Always Discerning: An Ignatian Spirituality for the New Millennium
Author: Joseph A. Tetlow
Loyola Press. Chicago, Il. 2016. Pp. 245

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Pope Francis has explicitly and repeatedly stated that discernment is essential for anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ. But what, exactly, is discernment? Why must we do it? How should we do it?

In Always Discerning, Joseph A. Tetlow, S.J., delves thoughtfully into these questions and shares how lay Christians can implement discernment into not only life's big decisions but also into the everyday, more mundane choices we find ourselves having to make. Guided by Scripture, the words of Pope Francis, and Ignaitan wisdom, Fr. Tetlow helps us see that the dynamic in interrelationship if head, heart, and hands is crucial to the discernment process

Ultimately, Always Discerning provides a powerful and highly practical way for the "people of God" to pray in the new millennium, while teaching us how to recognize God's will in every area of our lives and respond to it in joy and love.

An Excerpt from the Book:

Most of the time, our attachments are good and holy enough. Think of activities you really enjoy, that are habitual, that you are really attached to --- say, Saturday coffee with friends, watching pro ball with your grown sons, or regular aerobic exercise in a gym. Now imagine a situation in which you see clearly that you will have to choose between doing what you love and caring for an elderly parent. Which do you choose? If you remain as passionate about your attachment but go and do what love and honor of parents requires --- then you are passionately detached.

. . . Spiritual detachment requires accepting my true feelings and ideas but wanting to follow them only insofar as they lead me to God. The more aware of the things and people and experiences that we are passionate about, the better we can discern where the Holy Spirit is inviting us in the welter of our affections and the tangle of our minds. For one thing, the Holy Spirit often inspires in us a passionate desire for what God wants done next.

Table of Contents:

Part One: Foundations
Part Two: Discernment then and now
Part Three: God, always our loving creator
Part Four: Jesus is (my) Lord
Part Five: The Holy Spirit at work among us
Part Six: Great human mysteries
Part Seven: Deeper personal meaning
Part Eight: Discernment and sin
Part Nine: Discernment and consolation
Part Ten: Discernment and desolation
Part Eleven: The big and glorious picture