October 15, 2015

Practical Ways of Discerning

Discernment requires asking God what will make you happy. People faithfully discern God’s will by bringing Him in the decision through:

  • Prayer: Prayer, especially in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Praying the Rosary, staying in touch with Our Lady, whose total surrender to God is a model for all followers of Christ.
  • Sacraments: Reception of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, which clear the mind and heart of barriers to hearing God.
  • Counsel: Seek counsel from people you trust: parents, priest, Brother, or Sister. Get spiritual direction from someone trained to do so.
  • Silence: Being with God in silence in parts of our daily life and on periodic retreats.
  • Decision: Avoid conflicting decisions (e.g., one can not faithfully discern a call to consecrated life or priesthood while discerning married life in an exclusive dating relationship).
  • Visit: If God may be calling you to priesthood or Religious life, get information on the life and the Orders you may be interested in. Visit a convent or seminary: You do not know what you are saying yes or no to unless you go and see.
  • Trust: Above all, trust that your happiness is God’s desire.

—Mpls. Saint Paul Office for Vocations