This short course aims to expand the knowledge and practice of the spiritual tradition, and to make authentic discernment desirable and accessible to anyone seeking a more fulsome, integrated and intentional relationship with the Lord.
In the language of Christian asceticism, spirits, in the broad sense, is the term applied to certain complex influences, capable of influencing the will (some influencing the will toward the good, and others toward evil). In a more restricted sense, spirits indicate the various spiritual agents which, by their suggestions and movements, may influence the moral value of our acts (e.g., concupiscence).
Discernment of spirits is the term given to the process of judgment and choice of a course of action, after first determining from which spirit various impulses in the soul originate. The importance of this judgment for self-direction as well as the direction of others is absolutely foundational.
This short course will examine the path toward such judgment, employing the timeless wisdom and insights of St. Ignatius Loyola. Towards this end, the course will also employ the able assistance of three principal authors: Dan Burke, Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV, and Fr. Jules Toner, SJ.
The brevity of the course will necessitate a more intensive and concentrated approach to the subject.