Part of what I have wanted to explore this year is Ignatius’ Rules of Discernment. I have asked around to get book recommendations, and What’s your Decision is one that was recommended.
The Rules of Discernment are not only about decision making, but that is how they tend to be used from what I have seen. So What is Your Decision is a good practical guide on the use of the rules of discernment. It is filled with stories and examples, which makes the somewhat vague and abstract rules tangible.
What I like is that it keeps the decision-making focused on spiritual reality while not over-spiritualizing everything. And in an era where we tend to think of decision making as an individual activity, Ignatius, and the authors of this book, remind us that we live in community, and not only are decisions made better by outside input, those decisions impact those around us, and we should both hear from those around us and take into account the impact of our decisions on others.
These are three fairly brief quotes that I highlighted that I think give a sense of the discussion. (I have 14 highlights on my Goodreads page if you want to see more.)
“The evil spirit wants us to forget that we are fallible, limited beings; sharing our decisions with another person will keep us grounded in reality.” (p 96)
“Now that you have some clarity about which choice you want to make, take the decision to God. In the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius tells us to be explicit about this. Take the decision to Christ and say, “This is what I’ve decided to do. What do you think?” It is easy to skip this step. People are relieved to have made a decision, and they want to get on with it. They are sure they’ve made the right choice–at least they are pretty sure–and they don’t want to hear anyone raising second thoughts. But confirmation is important. present this decision to Christ.” (p120)
“The problem is that our perception of the good is obscured by our prejudices, wishful thinking, and unruly desires–this perception changes constantly.” (p149)