A thought from the practices of St Ignatius of Loyola founder of the Jesuit order.
In his ‘Spiritual Exercises‘ Ignatius directs us to discern the desires of our own hearts. By this he means to recognise the nature of our desires and the affect they have on our life.
We are all filled with desires, great and small. While typing these words I have given in to my desire for chocolate, consuming a Ripple and half a Double Decker (single decker!).
I am quite taken by the encouragement to discern between those desires which are inspired by God that lead us towards God and those that lead us away from God.
I recently spent a little time thinking on the reality that the Christian faith is not a moral code. It is not a series of right and wrong actions, nor is it about right and wrong people. It is the belief that a God who is right chose to invite us to follow him, making it possible for us to do so in the process.
If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago
I find the practice of recognising desires and learning to discern their source and inevitable outcome to be quite a helpful one in determining which path to choose when many paths present themselves.