DISCERNMENT


 

In life we are faced with many choices, including what state of life to consider,

whether single life, married life, priesthood or religious brother or sister.

How do we discern our life vocation?

What is discernment?

Discernment is an activity

by which we recognize what God is asking of us,

what He would like us do to with our lives.

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Helpful steps to consider in discernment

1. Know that you are God's beloved.

Know that you are especially loved by a God
who created and saved you out of love.
It is in response to His love
that you seek to do His will.

2. Sense of meaning and purpose

Take an in-depth look at your gifts and talents,
and your life experiences.
Reflect on the many ways God is present in the events of your life.
Be attentive to what gives you a sense of meaning and purpose.

3. Pray

Prayer is essential in discernment.
Pray for clarity, that you may recognize God's will.
Pray for openness and trust that you may respond in love
to what God is leading you to do.
Pray for strength to overcome fears and obstacles in choosing your life vocation
that would enable you to best serve the Lord and His people.

4. Pay attention to Jesus

To seek to do the Lord's will,
is to also want to have His heart and mind.
Read and ponder His life, words and actions in the Gospels,
for a deeper union with Him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see Jesus more clearly,
to love Him more dearly,
and to follow Him more nearly everyday in your life.

5. Discerning interior movements

As you move through your discernment journey
you will realize many different interior experiences taking place in you,
and pulling you in many directions.

Some may be new to you, others will seem strange.
Perhaps your experiences will be similar to the following:

- A sense of surprise, bewilderment, humility before God
that this experience is happening to me, 'Am I being called?'
-
A sense of sinfulness and unworthiness, 'Am I being realistic?'
- A great desire to join Christ in building a more just and peaceful world.

- A peak religious experience in which there is clarity and certitude of what I am to do.
- An experience of fear and turmoil, 'Can I fulfill it?'
- An experience of peace and sense of fulfillment.

6. Spiritual counseling

Talk to someone who can guide you to keep an open and prayerful spirit,
who can interpret the meaning of your interior experiences,
and help you make the right choice.
Prayer, discernment, spiritual direction, and attending a discernment retreat
are all helpful in deciding a life vocation.
Peace! Eventually, you will come to an awareness of what God is calling you to do.

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