More on discernment
Still chewing on discernment, and found this great essay by Sister Benedicta Ward which was very, very helpful. Discernment, as I originally thought, is closely related to prudence, though it would seem to be immediately prior to it. If prudence helps us to make the right decision, at the right time, and for the right reasons, discernment serves to first seek out the will of God. We can only do this if we escape the trap of mistaking our own will for His; this in turn requires first emptying the self. In short, humility.
This [humility] is a refusal to exercise the judgement which condemns others, that killing self-assertion that was the cause and result of the Fall and which continues to damage relationships with God and with others. This itch to condemn by our judgement can be transfigured into discernment which sees only the mercy and goodness of God in others. The way to allow this 'right judgement in all things' to be formed is through humility of heart which in practice involves a consistent refusal to exercise that self-assertion which forms hostile and negative judgements against the neighbour. The true 'judgement' of others which is discernment is the God's eye view, which is always positive: as the Cloud-author puts it, 'Not what thou art, nor what thou hast been seeth God with his merciful eyes but what thou wouldst be'.
Motes and beams, right? Echoes of St. Catherine of Siena, who wrote in The Dialogue
For you cast contempt on your neighbors when you pay attention to their ill will toward you rather than my will for them.
In other news, I've taken Twitter off my phone (again), and have taken the additional steps of blocking several of my reflexive go-to news sites at my workstation. I can't say I've left Twitter completely, though I've pared my following-list to exactly 100 accounts that cover mostly local information (government, weather, and so on) and a handful of other hams I've come to know online. Brands and personalities are gone. Ditto for what remains of my Instagram account: stripped down to family only and set to private. RSS feeds are again on the ascent for me, so that's going to be it for awhile. Hopefully forever.