Image of Jesus . Shalom Place

The Five Consents
Co-operating with the Spirit to Grow in Grace

by Philip St. Romain, M.S., D. Min.

Registration is open

The language of consent figures prominently in the lives of many biblical figures. God, it seems, breaks into their lives with an invitation, leaving them free to consent or to refuse. From Abraham to Moses to David and Mary, we find this dynamic of invitation and consent at work to bring forth new life and transformation. It is as though God so respects the freedom we were given as to ask our co-operation in bringing forth God's dream for the earth and its inhabitants.

Nothing has changed in that regard since biblical times. God still invites, and we respond one way or another to these initiatives. Sometimes the call comes through loud and clear; other times it is subtle and delicate. Once we hear the call, however, we must reply; we cannot avoid doing so, for to ignore the call is itself a kind of reply.

The Five Consents

Although there are many invitations from God that break into our lives, we can identify five basic areas that are common to all of us, and which are ongoing:

    1. To life, and living to the full (Jn 10: 10)
      - the invitation to hope.

    2. To God's providential care (Mt 6: 25-34)
      - the invitation of faith.

    3. To loving service (Jn 13: 6-17)
      - the invitation to love.

    4. To hardship, suffering and death (Mt 16: 24-25)
      - to carry our crosses.

    5. To the present moment (2 Cor 6: 2)
      - to resurrection life.

Each of these invitations are extended in many ways throughout our lives, and sometimes one takes more precedence than the others. Consenting to all is necessary, however, if one is to grow in grace.

Internet Retreat Process

Those who sign up for this Internet retreat will receive reflections on the consents listed above with practical suggestions for practicing them. There will be 35 reflections in all -- 7 for each consent. The first will be sent the day following your registration and will continue, usually every day or two, until you have received them all. A discussion forum is also available for those who would like to share experiences and/or ask questions. More information about all this will be sent to registrants.

To view a sample conference, click here.


We will use the "shareware principle" for this series. There will be no registration fee in order to enhance participation, but a tax-deductible donation to support our ministry will be requested, especially if you make use of the material and find it helpful.

To register for "The Five Consents" series, simply fill out the form below and submit it. You will receive an email response with information on how to confirm your request.