Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Midweek Meditation: "Nouwen on Discernment 3"

TITLE: Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life

Discernment as "Seeing Through"

"By exercising spiritual understanding, we come to see more clearly and hear more deeply the mysterious interconnectedness of all things (what the desert fathers called theoria physike - a vision of how things hang together). Discernment allows us to 'see through' the appearance of things to their deeper meaning and come to know the interworkings of God's love and our unique place in the world. Discernment helps us come to know our true identity in creation, vocation in the world, and unique place in history as an expression of divine love.

Perceiving, seeing through, understanding, and being aware of God's presence are what is meant by discernment. Opening the heart to what is really and truly 'there' is a fruit of contemplation and spiritual practice. Those who practice discernment are often more contemplative than those who are so active that they do not take the time to reflect on the inner meaning of appearances. The most interesting things in life often remain invisible to our ordinary senses, yet are visible to our spiritual perception. In large measure they can very easily be overlooked by the inattentive, busily distracted person that each of us can so easily become."

(Henri Nouwen, on "Embracing the Practice in Solitude and Community" in Discernment, New York: NY, HarperOne, 2013, 6)

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