Join us for our October monthly meeting, centered on the topic of “Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life.” Not coincidentally, but rather completely intentionally, this is also the title of the the book we will be reading as a group for our October book study.
Whether or not you plan to participate in the book study, you are still encouraged to come to this monthly meeting!
As usual, we’ll kick off the night with an ice-breaker, pray together, hear a brief presentation on the topic, and then discuss as a group or in small groups (depending on the number of people present).
Scroll down to continue reading about the book study, which will also give you a pretty good idea of what this meeting will focus on!
Hope to see you there!
Book Study Information
“Getting answers to my questions is not the goal of the spiritual life. Living in the presence of God is the greater call.” - Henri Nouwen
As men and women in our twenties and thirties, we are at time in our lives when a lot of important decision-making happens, but how much discernment actually happens?
Are you wondering what’s the difference?
In Henri Nouwen’s“Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life”, Nouwen states the following…
Christian discernment is not the same as decision making.
Reaching a decision can be straightforward: we consider our goals and options, maybe we list the pros and cons of each possible choice; and then we choose the action that meets our goal most effectively.
Discernment, on the other hand, is about listening and responding to that place within us where our deepest desires align with God’s desire…
We sift through our impulses, motives, and options to discover which ones lead us closer to divine love and compassion for ourselves and other people and which ones lead us further away.”
Good. That’s the point.
Intrigued enough to read the whole book?
You should join us for the book study!
For four weeks in the month of October, we will meet as a group— in-person or online— to discuss the contents of Henri Nouwen’s insightful, spiritual guidebook and more importantly, to discuss how the Lord is working in each of our lives.
In-Person Meetings (Thursdays @ 7 PM)
10/3 - St. Catherine’s Norwood
10/10 - Liz’s apartment in Norwood
10/17 - Greg’s apartment in Attleboro
10/24 - Gina’s apartment in Bellingham
Online Meetings / Google Hangout (Mondays @ 7 PM)
Committing to weekly meetings for four consecutive weeks may seem like a lot, but if you are serious about deepening your prayer life and learning to listen to how God is speaking to you, this book study could be just what you need!
Plus doing it as a group helps to hold you accountable to actually reading the book— start to finish!
While we encourage everyone to attend all four of the meetings, don’t feel like you shouldn’t participate if there is one or two meetings that you know you won’t be able to make.
Need the book?
You can purchase the book on Amazon for ~$10-$16 (depending on its condition) or borrow it from your local library (looks like there’s about five copies of the book circulating in the Minuteman network).
Read by Week 1: 10/10 (in-person) or 10/14 (online)
Preface: What This Book is About
Foreword: Henri’s Way of Discernment by Robert A Jonas
Introduction: When There is Darkness, Light
Part I: What Is Discernment?
Embracing the Practice in Solitude and Community
Distinguishing Spirits of Truth and Falsehood
Read by Week 2: 10/17 (in-person) or 10/21 (online)
Part II: Discerning Guidance in Books, Nature, People and Events
Read the Way Forward
Read the Book of Nature
Pay Attention to People in Your Path
Discern the Signs of the Times
Read by Week 3: 10/24 (in-person) or 10/28 (online)
Part III: Discerning Vocation, Presence, Identity and Time
Test the Call: Discerning Vocation
Open Your Heart: Discerning Divine Presence
Remember Who You Are: Discerning Identity
Know the Time: When to Act, When to Wait, When to Be Led
If you need a little more information about the book, feel free to read through the following excepts and quotes, or check out the book “preview” on Amazon.
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… discernment is the spiritual practice that access and seeks to understand what God is trying to say.
For Henri Nouwen, spiritual discernment is hearing a deeper sound beneath the noise of ordinary life and seeing through appearances to the interconnectedness of all things, to gain a vision of how things hang together in our lives and in the world.