How to discern god's will?


everyone talks aboutu this but I just don’t thik I really know how to do it

I pray and try to follow my conscience but I never seem to get an answer.

and what if you discern wrong. I don’t really feel called to marriage or religious life as a primary vocation but what if I find out at the end of my life, I made the wrong decision?


What’s your first impression? St. Therese says to go with that.

Visit convents that may be close to you (I’m assuming you’re female). Does anything attract you?

As long as you stay out of mortal sin, I wouldn’t worry about “having missed my vocation.”

Interior silence is a start. Jesus speaks in whispers. Attend adoration and the sacraments. Find a spiritual director who can help you discern.



You are doing the right things. Stay plugged in to the Sacraments and pray (esp. through Our Lady) for guidance. It often helps to get involved in some kind of service work to see where your gifts are and where God is calling you to serve others. Don’t worry about choosing “wrongly,” just be faithful to the Lord. If you are honest with Him, you can’t go wrong. Go where your heart desires. You will know if you are heading down His path or your own over time. A good thing about the Church is that she makes you wait a while before making final commitments to a state in life!


Same thing happens to me; exactly to the point where I have about 10% of the faith that I used to. Good luck to you.


Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your discernment. Let Go & Let God.


In daily life, if you are avoiding sin and striving for virtue with faithfulness to the duties of your state in life then you are following God’s Will. If one needs to make some sort of major decision such as one’s vocation in life, then I would advise spiritual direction. I would suggest reading “Abadonment to Divine Providence” by Jean Paul de Caussade, available online : (and ensure you read the letters of Fr Jean Paul at the end of the book). This is an excellent text, and a classic of Catholic spirituality. It explains just how to know God’s Will in life and how to deal with problems.

Always try to avoid “what if’s” as they can tend to drive away Peace of Soul. We have no idea and no way of knowing what will happen in the future. We don’t even know what will happen in the next minute. If there are going to be doubts etc. in the future, then The Lord will grant you the Grace to deal with whatever comes along. It will be your response to that Grace that will see you through difficulties and that Grace will only be granted AT THE TIME.
Your fears are only in your imagination.

God bless :slight_smile:


Single life: Your struggle is what pleases God. See the Little Flower’s recount of her confession about this very subject about God’s Will. We are not called to be successful (achieving a vocation?), we are called to be Holy.

Find in the EWTM archives for the Homily of Jan. 07, 2015 Fr. Wade Menesis 6 guidelines if God is speaking to you or goto: > missionary > Fr. Wade Menesis > -scroll down- “How to Discern if God is Speaking to You.pdf”

Determining the origin of a consistent thought can save you a lot of time and trouble.


In addition to the above suggestions, here’s an article by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff, Dec. 21, 2014. Hope, somehow, it will also help… Praying for you.



In addition to all of the above, you might want to consider getting yourself a spiritual director who can help you with these things. Call up your parish and ask your pastor if he can help you find one. I know in discerning my call to become a deacon, it is something I have done (and is required) and is helping me with alot of the questions on what should I be asking God, what should I be praying, etc. It is like pealing an onion. As you go through the layers, you find new layers and this spiritual director can help you.

May God bless you,



You spoke of your primary vocation - well, your primary vocation is holiness; every individual on this earth is primarily called to Holiness through a loving relationship with God. The question regarding your secondary vocation (what many people would refer today to as your career) is, what will lead me to be the holiest person I can be? What career or what lifestyle will use my talents and strengths in a way in which I can grow the closest to God as I can on this earth? These are some questions which you should reflect on. Coming to know yourself - both your strengths/talents and also your weaknesses - is an important thing to do when discerning your vocation in life.

As the poster above me mentioned, if you are struggling to discern what God’s will is for you, a spiritual director can be a big help. Actually, a spiritual director could be a big help anyway, whether you “have it all figured out” or not!


Pray and Act.

A lot of people, I feel, while in the discerning process focus on the Pray part, but overlook the actions that they need to take. Without action, prayer can be just sort of a selfish inward focus. We ask God to show us the way, but we’re not willing to get out of the driveway.

Explore life. participate in service projects. Work on your relationships with family and friends and build new ones. Let people know that you’re discerning, and those who know you best can help you, too. Strive to be holy in everything you do. If you have a job, be the best employee that you can be. Others have mentioned spiritual direction is a good idea.

Also, everyone wants a big smack-in-the-face kind of discernment, but what about all the little ones every day? It is a good idea to practice hearing God’s voice in small ways, too:

Is there a way you can get more involved in your parish? Ask God for that. Do you have a friend who maybe you can evangelize to? Ask God for that.

Do whatever he tells you.



I don’t seem to receive ‘direct’ answers either. However, prayer and awareness remain foremost in my mind. As you pray, keep on living life where you’re at now. We need to live the life, and deal with circumstances as they unfold.

Birds of a feather flock together. Maybe try to spend some time with people involved in the calling(s) you are interested in, who share your interests, outlook, etc. No need to make any hasty decisions.


When I was younger, I did not determine what I wanted to do for a career until I was in my last year of graduate school. When I had a chance to talk to someone in my current profession, and observe him while he was working, I knew right then that is what I wanted to be.

Interestingly, I went through high school, undergraduate studies, and most of graduate studies, without knowing what I wanted to do. I got to my current career, without losing any time, or making any wrong turns.

Along the way, I could only discern “the next step”, such as “keep grades up”, try a summer job in a certain field etc. Just “following the next step” was all I could see along the way. I attribute my ability to “see the next step”, to staying in church / staying connected to God although it did not occur to me at the time that I was being guided.

So I would say to just keep going to Mass, pray, etc. and look for the “next step”. That may be asking for advice, trying different summer jobs, taking a course in something you are considering etc.

Now I am going through a similar process. There is something I would like to do for a second career. I went in one direction that was more academic to try and start a debate on the concepts I have been studying. After about 8 rejections I have realized that I need to go in a different direction since I am really interested in being an entrepreneur more than an academic. So instead of sending articles to journals, I am sending a proposal to an agent.

So you have to be willing to iterate as well.

I started in engineering when I was younger.

Then I ended up in healthcare.

Good luck.


I am very confused too. I prayed and too action on looking for my vocation. Then it looked like the priesthood, only to find out that I am too stupid for the priesthood. LOL :frowning:


I think it was the Cure of Ars that had a similar experience. If God is calling you to the priesthood, He will show the way. But don’t put a time span on Him nor dictate the terms if you really desire to unite yourself to His Will.


A man’s mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will be established. Proverbs 19:21


Find a copy of To Save a Thousand Souls. It is specifically for men discerning a call to the priesthood but there are several chapters about discerning God’s will, talking to God and spiritual direction that apply to anyone. Those chapters would be a great place to start and I think the Holy Spirit could guide you from there.

closed #18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit