Spiritual Discernment in ‘Christus Vivit’: Between Ulysses and Orpheus

Issue 1906

15 June 2019

Christus Vivit, Christ is alive.[1] This is the title of the post-synodal exhortation that Pope Francis directed affectionately “to young people and the entire People of God,” pastors and faithful. In it re-echo “the myriad voices of believers the world over” who had sent him their opinions, and the questions that many non-believing young people had shared with him (cf. CV 3-4).

The final chapter, the ninth, has as its title “Discernment.” Its 21 points have a diversified character, depicting concisely and significantly the “wonderful multifaceted reality that Jesus Christ’s Church is meant to be” (CV 207). In the first five points, by way of introduction, the Holy Father “takes up some reflections” from the exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (GE)[2] and applies them concretely “to the way we discern our own vocation in the world.” The following 16 points are grouped under three subtitles: “Discerning Your Vocation” (we emphasize the word “your”), “The Call of the Friend” which is the central theme of the chapter and of the entire exhortation, and finally, “Listening and Accompaniment” in which Francis, turning to those who accompany a vocation and the processes of discernment, shares some elements that characterize his own personal way of leading such processes.

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