Discernment & the People in Our Lives

characters-setI hope you had a blessed Easter week. It’s a felt joy to be back here, blogging. This post will pick up where we left off a couple of weeks ago, when we were exploring looking at our lives through a storytelling lens. Today, we’ll begin to look at how the people in our lives affect our discernment. We’ll do this in a fun way by exploring the concept of characters in dramatic storytelling. 

In any good story, the characters—hopefully a diverse and lively cast!—are the most important part.

Our lives—the truest, most important story to us—are brimming with characters! The main character—the protagonist—is key. After all, it’s the protagonist’s story! But we will also look at other “characters” or forces, in our lives, such as the antagonist who seeks to thwart the protagonist either because of a personal issue, or because he or she opposes the protagonist’s mission. Most of us have many “supporting characters” in our lives than would fit in the longest Dickens novel (people whom we count on as friends, rivals, mentors, or sidekicks).

The interplay between God and each person—and how God works through the freedom, words, choices, growth, and personality of each person—is too complex for us to fully grasp. But we know that God often chooses to work through people, so much so that he sent his only Son to take on our human nature and share our human life with us. Today, the Church offers the salvation Jesus won for us by his Passion, Death and Resurrection through human beings: through sacraments administered by a priest, within a community made up of flawed and beloved human beings each on their journey towards salvation.

We never make our discernment journeys alone. The people in our lives play an important role in that journey. We’ll begin with the most important “character” of all: the protagonist.

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