Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life
“The premise of this book is that God is always speaking to us–individually and as the people of God–at different times and in many ways: through dreams and visions, prophets and messengers, scripture and tradition, experience and reason, nature and events. And that discernment is the spiritual practice that accesses and seeks to understand what God is trying to say. The books we read, the nature we enjoy, the people we meet, and the events we experience contain within themselves signs of God’s presence and guidance day by day.” –from the Preface
Henri J. M. Nouwen, the world-renowned spiritual guide and counselor, understood the spiritual life as a journey of faith and transformation that is deepened by accountability, community, and relationships. Though he counseled many people during his lifetime, his principles of spiritual direction were never written down. Now, in association with the Nouwen Legacy Trust, Michael Christensen, one of Nouwen’s longtime students, and Rebecca Laird, one of Nouwen’s editors, have taken his coursework, journals, and unpublished writing and created the definitive resource on spiritual direction. Stories, readings, and thematically organized questions for reflection and guided journal writing provide an unparalleled resource for spiritual development, both for individuals and for small groups.
Discernment, the third book in the series, teaches us how to read the “signs of the times” in daily life in order to make decisions that ultimately guided by God. Nouwen emphasizes listening to the Word of God–in our hearts, in the Bible, in the community of faith, and in the voice of the poor. Nouwen’s thoughts on discernment begin to answer one of the biggest questions we face: what should I do with my life?