The Year of Discernment
St. Ignatius Loyola regarded discernment as fundamental to the spiritual life. His Examen prayer is a daily discernment of spirits, a review of one’s day with attention to the lived experiences of consolation and desolation: consolations that they may be recognized and cherished, desolations that they may be identified and overcome. For Ignatius, the experience of consolation – the lived experience of faith, hope, and love – brings us closer to God and develops in us a felt awareness of God’s presence in all things. Desolation does the opposite, and getting free of patterns of desolation in our life is a key goal of the spiritual life. As Ignatius taught, when we are free from patterns of desolation we become free for a greater, more generous response to God’s loving presence in our midst.
Fr. Arturo Sosa, S.J., the current Superior General of the Society of Jesus, views discernment and discernment in common as the way forward for all Jesuit ministries to be beacons of reconciliation and justice in our troubled world. In our Year of Discernment at Georgetown Prep, we will seek to grow as a spiritual community of discernment and reconciliation. We will deepen our understanding and practice of Ignatian discernment and discernment in common. And we will seek to advance the work of reconciliation and justice by building on conversations begun last school year.
The Year of Discernment at Georgetown Prep will include these opportunities:
- First Spiritual Exercises retreats in daily life
- Deepening our Examen Wednesday prayer with a mind to discernment
- Evenings of Reflection around the theme of discernment
- Speaker series on discernment for students, faculty and staff
- Communications to all stakeholders on profiles in discernment in Prep alumni
- Dedication of a memorial on campus to the 272 enslaved persons sold in 1838 to benefit Georgetown College