Our Lady of Fatima hosts discernment event using guidelines from St. Ignatius of Loyola
By Nathan Rumohr
The B.C. Catholic
Many voices influence a young person trying to discern a vocation. Those voices can take on many forms, and often the voice of God is not heard.
"God has given us freedom to make decisions in life, to choose between options A, B, and C," said Father Elton Fernandes, SJ. "Ignatian spirituality steps back and asks, of A, B and C, which option is Christ inviting me to choose?"
That choice was contemplated during a March 10 Day of Discernment at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. The day-long retreat, presented by Father Fernandes, looked at some guidelines and tools from St. Ignatius of Loyola. This included the "keys" of "consolation" and "desolation."
"The purpose of the day of discernment was to help us get in deeper touch with Christ's voice in our lives," Father Fernandes said.
The retreat also gave an opportunity for participants to assess the time, talents, and treasure God has given them.
"Discernment is a process," stated Father Fernandes. "It is difficult to start and end in a day. It requires patience and quiet listening in our lives. This workshop presented some questions and tools to encourage this ongoing process. It offered encouragement to become even more sensitive to Christ's sometimes-subtle voice in our lives."
At the end of the retreat participants prayed to Christ for guidance on how use their gifts.
Father Fernandes said that as long as Catholics are open and honest to Christ's voice they will hear it within them.
"Ultimately we are called to trust that because Christ loves us so deeply He will communicate His vision for our lives."
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, opened the retreat with Mass. The archbishop thanked Father Fernandes for leading the discussion and Barb Dowding, the director of stewardship for the archdiocese, for organizing the event.