Filled with the Holy Spirit
By S. Whitney Schieltz
On May 23 we celebrated Pentecost, the commemoration of when Jesus’ disciples “were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4). Of course, the Holy Spirit didn’t stop with them. We too are filled with the Holy Spirit and sent out to proclaim the Good News as members of the Body of Christ. It’s not always easy, though, to discern where or to what the Spirit is calling us. Fortunately, we have numerous saints who dedicated their lives to this discernment and left us with their wisdom. 

One such saint is Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). A few days before Pentecost this year, May 20, 2021, marked the 500th anniversary of when Ignatius, a soldier at the time, was injured in battle and began his conversion to a life of faithful devotion to Jesus Christ and attentive listening to the Spirit. At the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises, a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices, St. Ignatius describes seven attitudes that a person must have in order to enter into an authentic discernment process.

1. Openness. You must enter the process with an open mind and open heart. If you start with a preconceived outcome based on your preferences or biases, you don’t leave room for other possibilities to surface and take root.

2. Generosity. Such openness requires you to enter the discernment process with a generous spirit and largeness of heart, putting no limits on what God might call you to.

3. Courage. Being truly open and generous takes courage, for God might be asking something difficult or challenging of you. It takes courage to let go of control and trust in God’s will over your own.

4. Interior Freedom. To authentically find and follow God’s will, an attitude of interior freedom means that your deepest desire must be to do whatever God’s will is with no conditions attached.

5. A Habit of Prayerful Reflection on Your Experience. Making a prayerful discernment requires dedicating significant time on a regular basis to quieting yourself, putting yourself in God’s presence, and listening to what God is saying in the interior of your heart.

6. Having Your Priorities Straight. If serving God is the ultimate goal of your life, then everything else must be subordinated to that goal. All your choices must be consistent with this direction in your life.

7. Not Confusing Ends with Means. The goal of serving God must be the reason for your choices, not the result. Often people strive to be rich and famous, and then afterwards use their position to serve God. But this puts God into second place, after one’s own desires.

With these seven essential attitudes, St. Ignatius lays the foundation for aligning our will with that of God through authentic discernment. May we all heed his wisdom and listen carefully to the Holy Spirit dwelling within and among us.

Congratulations to S. Tracy Kemme, who graduated from the Catholic Theological Union on May 20 with a Master of Divinity and a Certificate in Biblical Spirituality. S. Tracy was elected the student speaker for the virtual graduation.
Recommended Reading:
Paying Attention to God: Discernment in Prayer
Barry, a Jesuit priest, draws on his experience with Ignatian spirituality to open up the issue of discernment in the Church in order to help people bring their actual experience of God to bear not only on their own spiritual lives, but on the whole Christian community.
In the News
S. Sally Duffy was interviewed by WCPO’s Tanya O’Rourke as one of nine influential women asserting their influence to make the Tri-State a better place to live.
Upcoming Dates & Opportunities
SC Discernment Group 
(Sundays, June 13, July 11, Aug. 8,
7-8:30 p.m. ET)
Email S. Tracy Kemme at to get the Zoom link for the above SC discernment group opportunities. 

World Refugee Day prayer service, hosted by St. Leo the Great parish
(Tuesday, June 15, 7 p.m. ET)
S. Cj Willie, SC will offer the reflection.
During National Nursing Home Week, May 9-14, 2021, Sisters of Charity employees were celebrated for their hard work and dedication to the SC mission and Sisters of Charity. Activities were planned throughout the week, including a blessing of hands, patio grill-out and Bingo.
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