Thoughts on Discernment

Your words on Discernment are both manna and a light “to lead us over crag and torrent, till the night is gone”. Wordsworth could have said, “fair seed-time had my soul and I grew up fostered alike by secularism and a multi-cultural society”, where Eastern nihilistic and devotional traditions conflicted and cancelled each other. So, I gravitated to a C.S.Lewis-like position, where, one path neutralized preconceived notions of the other. I believe (Romans2:1-11) “God has no favorites”. Jesus, Luke11:42-46, said, “Alas for you lawyers, you load on men burdens that are unendurable”. I avoid the penchant for binary thinking; its love for tidiness, pigeon holes, classifications and strict codes. Christian discipleship, difficult though it may be, was not intended to be complicated. Be childlike, in faith, love and the ability for wonder – anyone can do that.

Why then must prayer be a torturous choice between a penetration of the cloud of unknowing with the heart, and of following the way of enlightenment through revelations and traditions? Both desire faith, love, compassion and detachment. When the seed falls it may be nurtured from within; finding within itself the object of its love. Or, as a humble servant, one may seek the beloved as a Divine Thou. Arbitrary stratification may flag a stampede for the monasteries and desert places on the one side, and distress on the other for those who find their devotion somewhat inadequate. That is why I disagree with opinions based on “stratification” and embrace the practice of Discernment that leads to an enriched form of “fundamental disposition”.