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Ignatian Discernment Resources





Key Ideas About Discernment

Introduction to Discernment of Spirits
Good and evil spirits, consolation and desolation, and rules for discernment.

Discernment in a Nutshell
By Joseph Tetlow, SJ
The basics: spirits, feelings, and why they are useful.

Rules for Discernment
Ignatius distilled what he knew about discernment into 22 rules.

The Difference Between Consolation and Feeling Good
By Margaret Silf
The direction of our attention points out the crucial difference.


Using the Tools of Discernment

How Do I Know I’m Experiencing God?
By William A. Barry, SJ
Ignatius’s rules can help us sort out spiritual experience.

How to Know That a Choice Is Right
By William A. Barry, SJ
Barry discusses the most important criterion for confirming a good decision.

The Devil Comes Cloaked as an Angel of Light
By William A. Barry, SJ
Pitfalls and complexities in discerning spirits.


More Information about Discernment

YouTube: Discernment of Spirits
A video produced by the Jesuits of the California Province.

dotMagis Posts About the Discernment of Spirits
From the category archives of the dotMagis blog.

Video: Discernment of Spirits
The first part of this video explains the basic ideas of Ignatian discernment. Narrated by John Brown, SJ.

Discernment: Consolation and Desolation
by Margaret Silf
This excerpt from Margaret Silf’s Inner Compass can serve as a “Beginner’s Guide” to Ignatian discernment. Silf points to many of the elements of discernment but will leave most people wanting to know more.

How to Survive Desolation
By Thomas F. Fischer
A succinct summary of Ignatius’s advice for handling desolation.

Discernment: Recognizing God’s Voice
By Brian Incigneri
A general survey on spiritual discernment based on Thomas Green’s Weeds Among the Wheat. Article discusses rules of discernment, ways of making a choice, and consolation and desolation. Article finishes with a note on St. Teresa of Avila and discernment.

Discernment and Fluctuations of Mood
by Brian O’Leary, SJ
Emotional fluctuations bring self-awareness and can reveal the direction in which God is leading you. This short take on discernment by Irish Jesuit Brian O’Leary, SJ, places it directly within the context of the Spiritual Exercises.

The Affective Dimension of Discerning and Deciding (PDF)
by Franz Meures, SJ
Article exploring the place of the emotions in Ignatian discernment. Especially helpful for spiritual directors.




Spiritual Consolation: An Ignatian Guide for the Greater Discernment of Spirits
By Timothy Gallagher, OMV

The Discernment of Spirits: The Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living
By Timothy Gallagher, OMV






#77 – Podcast  - Ron Mercer, SJ – Discernment and Life Choice




Toward A Theology of Discernment  - William Barry, SJ

The Way, 64, Spring 1989


Ignatian Spirituality


Howard Gray, SJ

Ignatius's Method for Letting God Shine through Life's Realities



Ignatian Spirituality: What are We Talking about and Why?

Howard Gray SJ



Decisions by Discernment, Fr Randy Roche, SJ


Decision-Making  - A More Useful Format For Discerning

by John Veltri, sj


Powerpoint on Discernment

Ignatian Discernment. Step one: Ask for openness to God's presence in your life. Step two: Imagine various outcomes of the particular decision. ...


Making Life Decisions According to the Ignatian method of Discernment

is meant and aimed at by Ignatian discernment. "Criteria" are distinguishing marks, which should give clues for the. "correctness" of a matter. ...


Catholic TV – Discerment of Spirits – Fr. Tim Gallagher


Discernment in Everyday Life – Charles Shelton, SJ



Discernment of Spirits – Brian McDermott, SJ  (six You Tube Series)