Listening to mind and heart
The fundamental ingredient of the Ignatian Exercises is interiority, composed of thoughts and sentiments. The heart, that is the unity of the person, is the organ capable of recognising God’s presence in our life.
And they said to one another, “Was not our heart burning within us, while he was speaking on the way, and when he opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32)
Recognise spiritual movements
There are different “spiritual movements” in the heart that generate energy for chosing what we are called to do and who we’re called to be. Sometimes, they might be in contradiction with one another. It is thus necessary to stop and observe where are they coming from to understand which movement is worth following or avoiding:
You shall know them by their fruits. Can grapes be gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So then, every good tree produces good fruit, and the evil tree produces evil fruit. A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, and an evil tree is not able to produce good fruit. (Mt 7:16-18)
Deciding what to do
The Spirit of God speaks to us through our history. When we become more aware of our thoughts and sentiments, it becomes easier to unmask the mental traps that promise us a false joy. It becomes easier to recognise what we have to do because it corresponds to our personal vocation.