[quote="Lost_Wanderer, post:1, topic:221654"]
Though it doesn't happen as often as it used to anymore, I still get one or two people who er... doubt my discernment when I tell them I don't have a calling to either priestly vocations or religious life.
So with that, I decided to review some testimonies by people who reached the same decision as I have and found that they some of them did something along the lines of having a private retreat (they go alone some place in the mountains or something). Another person, a Charismatic preacher, said he went to visit I believe monastery or something.
Is an experience like this mandatory before you can say you have discerned? I'll be honest and say I don't think I've ever done anything like that. :confused:
I just thought you just had to spend a good deal of your time thinking about it. >:\
Just to be clear... are you saying you were previously discerning specifically a call to the priesthood?
I'm of the opinion that we're still at least in some stage of discernment right up until we make the commitment. Of course, we can certainly be very confident that God is calling us one way or the other, but I think it is appropriate at least to maintain a spirit of total openness to whatever God calls us to.
I'm not saying that you should be constantly praying something like, "God, are you maybe still wanting me to be a priest??" because I think that there is a stage (and it sounds like you've reached it) where you can have a conviction that it is not your calling in life. That is absolutely normal and you don't necessarily have to have had a spiritual director to have known that.
Of course, at least if you entered into a very serious discernment of priesthood, it may have been wise to contact a vocations director... I'm not very familiar with your background.
Anyway, please be assured that there is no "experience" or set "milestone" you have to have reached for you to have "legitimately" discerned. Your discernment is truly between you and God, and it may be that you two are the only ones who understand it.
God bless you!:thumbsup: