Igniting Our Values
Igniting Our Values

March 26, Thursday

Spiritual Discernment

Maureen McCann Waldron, co-founder of Creighton University’s online ministries, reminds us that we must let go of what the world calls important if we are to discern where God is leading our hearts.

Scripture Readings

Sunday Readings - Week 5

JER 31:31-34
HEB 5:7-9
JN 12:20-33



A procedural note: our reflections and prayers will refer to the Sunday readings for the week, not the daily readings.

Daily Reflection

Shaping our Lives to Look More like Jesus’
by Maureen McCann Waldron

When our son was younger he had a terrible time making decisions because he feared making the “wrong” choice. As we grow older, we come to understand that many times the most difficult decisions are not between a right and a wrong, but between two good options. Which one of these is the better choice?

In Ignatian spirituality, discernment is the process in which we discover where God is leading our hearts. For those of us in a Jesuit university, discernment includes reflecting on how the mission will impact a decision and how a decision will affect the mission of our school.

Jesus says, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

We fear the pain and suffering of that self-dying. How do we change lifelong patterns of focusing on our own success? Our insecurities drive us to fill our lives with honors and things; yet we will never feel full — we will always want more. Jesus wants us to let go of what the world tells us is important. He asks us to give our lives away and reminds us, “Whoever serves me must follow me.”

We follow Him by leaving behind the things our world prizes and focusing instead on the poor, the mentally ill, the marginalized or simply those in our lives who we would prefer to ignore: the difficult colleague, the family member who drives us nuts. In praying to love that person we begin to shape our lives to look more like Jesus’.

Let us pray for discerning hearts in service of our mission for and with others.

Moldeando nuestras vidas para parecernos más a Jesús
Por: Maureen McCann Waldron

Cuando nuestro hijo tenía menos edad tenía dificultad para tomar decisiones porque temía tomar la decisión “equivocada.” Cuando nos hacemos mayores, comenzamos a entender que muchas veces las decisiones más difíciles no son entre una opción buena y otra mala, sino entre dos opciones buenas. ¿Cuál de estas es la mejor opción?

En la espiritualidad Ignaciana, discernimiento es el proceso por el cual descubrimos hacia dónde dirige Dios nuestros corazones. Para los que estamos en una universidad Jesuita, el discernimiento incluye reflexionar acerca de cómo la misión influirá en la decisión, y en cómo la decisión influirá en la misión de nuestra universidad.

Jesús dice “a menos que el grano de trigo caiga en la tierra y muera, éste permanece sólo un grano de trigo; pero si muere, éste produce muchos frutos.”

Tememos al dolor y al sufrimiento que representa morir a nosotros mismos. ¿Cómo hacemos para cambiar la costumbre de toda la vida de enfocarnos en nuestro propio éxito? Nuestras inseguridades nos llevan a tratar de llenar nuestras vidas con honores y cosas, a pesar de que nunca nos sentiremos satisfechos — siempre querremos más.

Jesús quiere que dejemos de lado lo que el mundo nos dice que es importante. Él nos pide que le demos nuestras vidas y nos recuerda, “Si alguno quiere servirme, que me siga.”

Seguimos a Jesús cuando dejamos de lado las cosas que el mundo aprecia y nos enfocamos en los pobres, el enfermo mental, el marginado o simplemente en aquellos en nuestras vidas que preferiríamos ignorar: el colega complicado, algún miembro de nuestra familia que nos vuelve locos. Rezar para lograr amar a esa persona, es comenzar a moldear nuestras vidas para parecernos más a Jesús.

Recemos por los corazones que disciernen en el servicio de nuestra misión, para y con los otros.

In 1997, after a career in corporate public relations, Maureen McCann Waldron moved to her alma mater, Creighton University, to work in the collaborative ministry office with Andy Alexander, SJ. They began the online ministries the following year. Maureen has been married to Jim Waldron for almost 40 years. They have two adult children and two practically perfect grandchildren.


God who continues to choose to love us,
give us discerning hearts to serve our mission to your people.
Keep us open, nimble in our response to you,
always willing to give more than we think we have
and to learn that our discernment is not about us
but about being Christ in the world.


We know from neuroscience that compassion has some very extraordinary qualities. For example, when people who are cultivating compassion are in the presence of suffering, they feel that suffering a lot more than other people do. However, they return to baseline a lot sooner. This is called resilience. Many of us think that compassion drains us, but I promise you, it is something that truly enlivens us.

You know, if compassion is so good for us, I have a question. Why don’t we train our children in compassion? If compassion is so good for us, why don’t we train our health care providers in compassion so that they can do what they’re supposed to do, which is to really transform suffering? And if compassion is so good for us, why don’t we vote on compassion? Why don’t we vote for people in our government based on compassion, so that we can have a more caring world?
: Joan Halifax

Jesus calls us to a strategy of downward mobility in a society that promotes unbridled upward mobility.

Upward mobility is, at best, ambiguous, especially since the drive for success is a drive to leave others behind, to escape not only poverty, but the poor. Upward mobility has turned cancerous, resulting in a state that cannot provide for the common good.

I invite you to discover your vocation in downward mobility. It’s a scary request. The world is obsessed with wealth and security and upward mobility and prestige. But let us teach solidarity, walking with the victims, serving and loving. In this enterprise there is a great deal of hope.

Have the courage to lose control. Have the courage to listen. Have the courage to receive. Have the courage to let your heart be broken. Have the courage to feel. Have the courage to fall in love. Have the courage to get ruined for life.
: Dean Brackley, SJ

Of all that God has shown me
I can speak just the smallest word,
Nor more than a honey bee
Takes on his foot
From an overspilling jar.
: Mechtild of Magdeburg


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