Learn about spiritual discernment this summer


Shirin McArthur

This summer, Episcopal Church of the Apostles will host a free, three-part series on spiritual discernment.

Do you find yourself asking questions like, “How do I know if it is the Spirit of God moving, inviting or ‘talking’ to me? Is this my imagination speaking or something trying to turn me away from God?”

To help answer questions like these, Rev. Debra Asis, Vicar at Church of the Apostles, will be offering a three-part series during the months of July, August and September: Prayer and Ignatian Discernment of Spirits.

Participants will practice the Ignatian Prayer of Examen and the Discernment of Spirits in tandem with traditional Anglican prayers, noting how they help answer the question: “Is it You, Lord?” Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish/Basque priest and teacher who founded the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits.

In the Jesuit tradition, spiritual discernment is our “willingness to look at and appreciate the signs of God’s love for us and in response to listen to the voice of the Spirit of God and to follow where the Spirit leads” (David Lonsdale, Eyes to See, Ears to Hear: An Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality).

Participants will learn to notice the inner movements of their minds and hearts. The group will be guided by questions like, “How do my thoughts, affective acts and feelings effect my relationship with God? How do they move me toward or away from God? How do they increase or decrease my faith, hope and love?”

Actual case studies will provide context for practicing Discernment of Spirits and considering the importance of scripture, sacraments, community and counsel during our times of consolation and desolation.

Rev. Debra Asis studied Ignatian Spirituality extensively at the Jesuit School of Theology at the Graduate Theological University in Berkeley, California. She made the traditional Jesuit Spiritual Exercises under the direction of a Jesuit priest and has taught these practices to spiritual directors as well as other students and parishioners.

All are welcome to participate in this summer series. The group will meet on three Wednesdays, July 11, August 15 and September 19, from 12:30–1:45 p.m. in the Library at Church of the Apostles, which is located at 12111 N La Cholla Blvd, just north of Tangerine. Although it is recommended you attend all three sessions to derive the most benefit, it is not required.

If you have questions or wish to register for this free series, please email [email protected] and put Ignatian Discernment on the subject line. You may also call the church office  at 520-544-9660.