Discernment is a tricky business. I find that the simple Ignatian ‘examen’ can really help one to discern what is and isn’t of God. It reminds us that God is truly good and helps us not to listen to the lies that are whispered to us in our dark moments.
Here is a quote from today’s article which I think sums this up nicely:
Provided that we are trying to live as friends of God, experiences of feeling out of sorts, ill at ease, anxious, unhappy, listless, and so on are experiences of desolation. They do not come from God.
If we are trying to live as friends of God, we can trust that our experience is of God’s Spirit when we find ourselves more alive, more peaceful, more energized, and also more concerned about others than about ourselves as a result of the experience. These simple rules of thumb are not absolute guarantees that we are right or that our way of proceeding will succeed, but they give us some assurance that we are on the right path. If we follow the impulses of such experiences, we can move forward with confidence, trusting that God will continue to show us the way.