“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Becoming free to choose

Often when it comes to making decisions, we may not be entirely free. We may be attached to one or other of the alternatives and not open to the other one. We may put conditions on our response. St Ignatius of Loyola tells us, especially when we face a significant decision, that it is important to come to a place of balance or freedom. To be open and willing to move whichever way we sense God is leading us.

We all have things that can hook us and make it difficult for us to be fully open to God’s invitation. Things that get in the way of our freedom can be the desire for money, or status, or influence or security. Sometimes it can be a strong need to have the esteem or approval of others. These “inordinate attachments” take the focus of our decision away from God. They constrain our generosity and our freedom to say yes to the good.

We might need to ask God to help us to be free to want, more than anything, whatever God desires for us. We also ask God to help us to discover what that might be.

Sometimes, if I am not sure of where my attachments or lack of freedom might be, it can help to chat with a wise friend who knows me well or to seek out a person trained in spiritual accompaniment. They may be able to help me to come to a place of greater freedom.

What are my non-negotiables; the places I am not free? What gets in the way for me?

Gracious God,

Help me to be free of whatever might get in the way of my responding with freedom. May my one desire and my only choice be whatever leads to my deepening life in you.


Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
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