Monday, January 21, 2013

The IVE vs. Discernment in their own words

Before reading this post we would encourage to you to read our main page on Discernment (see here) which will provide an overview and give context the following material.  

We started this site, in part, to warn that the IVE/SVVM do not help with or encourage discernment before or after entering.  If you are skeptical of this claim you don't need to take our word for it - their own words and literature say as much.  We'll give some examples in this post and you can always see more by visiting our main discernment page here as well as reviewing all our posts tagged "Discernment."

Our friend at SSVM Abuse has taken a closer look at the IVE's Directory of Vocations entitled "Give Me Your Heart." Her three posts on the subject are available here:

Intro/Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3

As the SSVM Abuse site points out, large excerpts of the book are available at Google Books and we discuss the book in further detail here.  It's worth noting that, while some of the IVE catechisms and pamphlets have Imprimaturs, "Give Me Your Heart" does not.  No Bishop has approved this book as being consistent with Church teaching.  It's purely the work of Fr. Buela, with no support from the Church.  Of course, that doesn't stop the IVE from handing it out to children. 

The book spends only a couple of sentences on discernment in paragraphs 14 & 15 - not to encourage discernment, but to belittle it.  It then says: 
"Therefore the inner calling is an authentic calling from God and must be obeyed instantly, as if we were hearing the Lord's voice."  
So if you have this inner calling, which they describe as an "impulse to loftier things" then the IVE says you are being called to a vocation and need to obey it instantly.  Should you pray about it? No.  Do they say that you should be patient and enter into prayerful discernment like St Ignatius himself did and recommends?  No.  Instead, they want you to treat this "impulse" as if God is speaking directly to you.   

What should you do next?  Should you talk to your parents?  Relatives?  People you trust?  No.  They say relatives are "enemies of vocations" and must "NEVER be consulted." (Paragraph #19)  Who do you talk to then?  Well, they say you "must only consult a wise and prudent director or confessor."  This is by itself a good idea.  Unfortunately, if you have this book your director/confessor will likely be an IVE priest, also a result of this troubled discernment and formation process and in no way fit to be giving guidance on the subject (as we discuss here, here, and here) and unfortunately have a habit of not being very honest with candidates (as we discuss here, here, here, and here.)  

The rest of the book goes about countering any rebuttals your common sense might have, attributing all your reluctance to be from the Devil or the flesh, and playing to your desire to feel special.

If you have some common sense, religious background, and personal security, then you realize how manipulative and malformed this text is.  However if you are in the target audience for this book - it is, after all, part of their "Youth Series" - you are young, looking for guidance, and you probably won't know better.

The very fact that you are reading this book would mean you have an "impulse to loftier things."  So anybody reading the book can be hooked into their rhetoric, guilted to approaching an IVE priest, and - well we outline how the rest works on our Discernment page.

As we mention in the FAQ, the easiest, most prudent step to take is to discuss this with a 3rd party.  Find a few good religious orders.  Contact them and tell them you have some questions for their vocations director.  Be specific.  Tell them what you are reading and what you are being told.  Ask them their opinion.