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by Sr. Mary Alice Chineworth, OSP
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Further Reflections
Spiritual Discernment

          Telling the story of our lives in relation to God and reflecting on the different aspects of it help us to recognize where and how God has been and continues to be present and active in our history.  Reflecting on our life history will show us a pattern of God's presence and action in our lives in the past, while it offers a guide to where God is leading us in the future.  Such reflection is of concern as we strive to practice discernment.  With this pattern as a guide, we will gradually learn who we are in relation to God.  This involves accepting the light and the dark in ourselves, the strong and t he weak, the godly and the sinful, the wounded and the healthy.  
          Prayer is the setting in which we make choices in response to the Spirit of God.  It is in prayer that we become aware of our personal faith history.  In silent listening, we become aware of the way in which we have lived in relation to God.  We will see that our life is a story of two kinds of responses to God: moments in which we have sought union with Him and answered His invitations with love and generosity, and other moments in which we have turned away from God, deficient in love. We will see our life as a history of both grace and sin.   Below are a few questions to help you in your discernment:
 How do we sense God's presence in our life?
 What response to God keeps recurring as a pattern of blessing? 
To others?
To ourselves?
 Where did we experience the influences basic to being alive: calls to enjoy, to grow, to create, to give, to receive?