Prayerful Listening: Cultivating Discernment in Community

by Lois Lindbloom

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Spiritual discernment is the process of paying prayerful attention to one’s own life in order to be clearer about and more cooperative with God’s activity.

This 20-page booklet is composed of two main parts: 1) an exploration of the experience of prayerful listening and 2) practical information about setting up a group for discernment through prayerful listening.

The model described is that of group spiritual direction developed by Rose Mary Dougherty, SSND, and others at the Shalem Institute, and the intent of this booklet is to give enough information to discern whether this kind of group is right for the reader, now or at some other time.

Different sections deal with prayerful listening to others, to self and to God; intercessory prayer/interconnected prayer; silence; and group meetings for prayerful listening. Within the section on group meetings, details are provided for setting up a group spiritual direction group, the first meeting and what happens beyond the first meeting.

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