“Discernment of spirits helps us to find God.”
This was what Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ said during the academic year’s first Ignation discussion entitled Appropriating Discernment in Living Out Our Vision and Mission yesterday at the Finster Auditorium.
According to Tabora, the purpose of the event series is meant to deepen the understanding of Ignatian spirituality.
“The Ignatian Conversations are designed to be able help the members of the community to deepen their understanding of Ignatian spirituality, and these conversations bring light to its aspects,” Tabora said.
When the event began, Tabora expounded on the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola through linking on how discernment plays an important role in the lives of people and how it affects love.
“Discrete love [is] discernment unto loving action, [which is] experience with reflection. Love with discernment [leads to] decision-action. Because love without discernment is blind,” Tabora said.
He also presented the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius and said that the presentations of the exercises may serve as an invitation for others to perform them.
Tabora also placed emphasis on desolation and consolation when it comes to performing the exercises in order to achieve discernment of spirits.
“Discernment helps us understand where we are: [either] moving away from God or moving towards God. [It] introduces us to the mode of interactivity between ourselves and God,” Tabaora said.
The conversation was received positively by students. Mary Rose Catalbas, a student who attended, said the discussion gave her new insight about discernment and desolation.
“[The discussion] was really helpful because I learned how I can hope when I am in desolation because I often experience being down, and now I realize that I can do something about it by praying.
“I was also struck by the first reason why we are in desolation. That is because we forget to pray to God, and so I learned that I should look into myself more and try to be closer to God,” Catalbas said.
In attendance were teachers and students from all levels of the Ateneo community.
The Ignatian conversations were organized by the Ignatian Spirituality and Formation Office (ISFO), in partnership with the Arrupe Office of Social Transformation and the Campus Ministry Office.