PRAYER & DISCERNMENT
HROUGHOUT HISTORY spiritual directors have warned against cast-
ing spiritual seekers into one mold. Saint Ignatius Loyola said there is
“no greater mistake in spiritual matters than to force others to follow
one’s own pattern.”
Many observers have noted four main dispositions, or temperaments, that
help describe how people behave on their spiritual journey: the path of in-
tellect, the path of devotion, the path of service, and the path of asceticism.
These four main pathways are anchors in the Catholic spiritual tradition and
worth exploring in some depth to help you understand your own spiritual pref-
erences. What helps you develop spiritually often is dramatically different from
what attracts the person in the next pew to a deeper spiritual life.
Take the quiz on page 23 to test your spirituality type. Your quiz results
may confirm what you already know about your spiritual leanings, or you may
feel called to explore a different pathway. Consider your results an invitation to
know yourself better and explore different forms of prayer, worship, and medi-
BY ROGER O’BRIEN AND THE VISION EDITORS
Discover the four basic spiritual pathways and see how
they apply to your own spiritual development—and
What is your spiritual path?
has a master’s
degree in theology and worked
as a training