Saint Ignatius of Loyola understands spiritual discernment (of spirits) as becoming sensitive to the interior movement or "motions" of one's soul, reflecting on them, and understanding their origin as well as where they lead us. He see this capacity to differentiate inner inclinations as crucial in making good choices and in following one's calling in life, commonly called as "discerning God's will."
The following are further readings and studies on Ignatian discernment as well as prayerful decision-making. Click here for a series of podcasts by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV who also wrote excellent books on the subject.
by Mark Thibodeaux SJ
A clear and practical resource for anyone who wants to develop their spiritual intuition or inner GPS and learn to discern God’s will written in everyday language.
by Parker J. Palmer
A book that helps you to listen, love, and trust yourself. A reflective guidebook for those willing to take the inner journey that leads to discovering God’s dream for them.
by Greg Boyle SJ
Heartfelt, story-telling that will leave you laughing and crying on the same page. Fr. G recounts his 25 year experience with gangs members into parables of compassion.
by Debra Farrington
A good, gentle start if you want to learn useful tools for discernment, whether you consider yourself religious or spiritual-but-not-religious.
by Margaret Silf
A congenial, practical, and dynamic look of at Spiritual Exercises. Like a good compass, the book is a solid guide for those who wish to renew their life’s direction and purpose.
by Paul Coelho
An inspiring fable about a young shepherd in Brazil who leaves comfort to pursues his life's dreams. On the journey he learns valuable life lessons and ultimately finds himself.
by Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon Au
A more in-depth look for those who want to cultivate a discerning heart in everyday choices as well making larger decisions using an Ignatian process of discernment.
by John Neafsey
Written for young adults on vocation, the book explores wisdom from many traditions about how we can listen to our sacred voice that calls us to serve and make a difference.
by M. Sparough SJ, J. Manney, and T. Hipskind SJ
A fast-moving, personal, and highly practical book, the authors introduce readers to a time-tested Ignatian approach to effective decision making.