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Trust Your Feelings: Learning how to make choices with Ignatius of Loyola by Nikolaas Sintobin SJ

05 August 2022

Lavinia Byrne praises a useful Ignatian guide

“ONE of the things that the Church needs most today is discernment.” This insight from Pope Francis has acted as a prompt for a fellow Jesuit, the Flemish internet chaplain Nikolaas Sintobin. Before he took up this ministry, Sintobin had been a teacher in Jesuit schools in both Paris and Antwerp.

His skills in the classroom have translated across seamlessly to a book that seeks to explain and make available techniques in discernment. These began life in the Spiritual Exercises of his Order’s founder, Ignatius of Loyola. They could appear recondite and difficult, but this is a “how to” book, and, with the aid of graphics for visual learners, Sitobin has opened the world of Ignatian discernment to everyone.

With chapters on how the heart, intelligence, and will interact, and on discernment in particular situations, he lays out strategies for making choices that will work for individuals and communities alike. The secret is to learn how to interpret the balance of feelings and reason and to trust the logic that this imparts. This way of discerning can become a way of life, and Sibotin has provided a really useful manual to enable this to happen.

The language is simple; the insights are profound; and the technique is open to all. Sibotin has taken a risk; for, behind his decision to avoid all jargon, he writes of the inner life with a sureness of touch and the clarity of a born teacher. With its aspiration to meet the Church’s need for discernment, as identified by the Pope, this unassuming book deserves to do well.

Lavinia Byrne is a writer and broadcaster.


Trust Your Feelings: Learning how to make choices with Ignatius of Loyola
Nikolaas Sintobin SJ
Messenger Publications £11.95
Church Times Bookshop £10.75

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