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D

Discernment

In the Ignatian tradition, discernment refers to the spiritual process of ascertaining how one is moved between the good and evil spirits in the pursuit of discovering and doing the will of God. Following his conversion in Pamplona (1521), Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) undertook a journey of self-discovery in Manresa where he encoded the rules of discernment into a spiritual manual called the Spiritual Exercises. The dynamics of discernment enable the exercitant of the Spiritual Exercises to arrive at a life decision through a process called an election. Discernment also informs the organising principle of a Jesuit’s daily life whereby his personal as well as apostolic choices are guided by this discerning process.