Discernment: Like Sailing a Boat

Discernment is like sailing a boat on a large body of water when the wind is strong. Success depends on the wind, the sailor and the rudder.

The direction of the wind is like the voice of the heart. It expresses what sets them in motion and moves them forward.

The sailor is like the mind. She judges the direction and strength of the wind so as to respond optimally. Without a sailor, the ship has no direction and is at risk of rapid damage. She has to constantly take the direction of the wind into account. Without the wind, the sailor can do nothing.

The rudder, finally, is like the will. It gives the ability to make concrete decisions and choices. The rudder allows you to take to the open sea and sail further and further, instead of staying by the shore or bobbing about aimlessly.

Excerpted from Trust Your Feelings: Learning how to make choices with Ignatius of Loyola by Nikolaas Sintobin SJ (p.58)