As women we make all kinds of lists from shopping lists to guest lists, but this list for discernment can be used over and over and will give you peace in making any important decision. Find a quiet place and allow time to meditate on each one slowly and then pray that the Holy Spirit brings you clarity and truth. Saint Ignatius’ 10 Principles for Decision-making:
- Stay in touch with reality. Acknowledge the pre-existing baggage and that which we cannot change.
- Be honest and realistic about your timetable. Don’t be hasty but don’t procrastinate.
- Bounce your thoughts and plans off of those you trust. Your friends and confidants are more objective. If they truly know us well, they can recognize our strengths and weaknesses without being subject to our personal issues.
- Listen to your heart, mind, and intuitions. Make sure they are all rising from your soul. Consider practicality, functionality and rationality as well as emotions. Common sense must be considered along with the emotional side of the decision.
- The “Evil Spirit” often tends to complicate decision making with confusion and fear. Keep to the core of the matter and replace confusion and fear with acts of trust and courage.
- Avoid decision-making during a crisis. A level head and internal peace will allow you to judge freely and honestly. Which choice yields the most peace, justice, faith and love as well as will bear the most fruit? Cleanse yourself of selfish tendencies.
- Know your limits! Do not seek the cross, but be prepared to accept it. To honestly know ourselves requires humility, common sense and love.
- Mourn the possibilities not chosen and the opportunities missed. Life is a path of letting go and dying. “Every time we let go of something we die a little.” Eventually we will be asked to let go of everything (when we die) and will gain our salvation.
- Jesus is key. God gave us Jesus to show what it truly means to be a human being. If we follow Jesus’ teachings and imitate how he treated people with mercy, truth, faith, fairness, justice and love we will be inspired in every decision we make and we will grow to know, love and serve him more profoundly.
- Make the decision.
May God bless you in every decision and know that He is with you always!
“10 Rules for Decision Making from St. Ignatius” contributed by Michelle Hokenson.