The Discernment of Spirits

1 Cor 12 speaks of the 7 charisma granted at the discretion of the Spirit.

The Discernment of Spirits is a topic I’d like to discuss.

Am well aware of St Ignatious’ of Loyola’s writings on the matter. I desire to discuss the gift as present in our time, and its application(s).

Any takers?


I’ve some experience with Ignatian exersizes -
however I’ve come to prefer learning direct from Scriptures, followed by Magisterial Teachings.

And From that my Faith greatly increased…

As for Discernment - God’s Holy Spirit is THE Guide for me.

CCC -The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

Prayerfully Read the NT… And seek to learn and learn to have a temper of Mind such as Jesus’

Understand and see this following

35 “The Sacred Scriptures contain the Word of God and, because they are inspired, they are truly the Word of God” (DV 24).

136 God is the author of Sacred Scripture because he inspired its human authors; he acts in them and by means of them. He thus gives assurance that their writings teach without error his saving truth (cf. DV 11).

In your Study … ask God to be with you and assist you in your learning.



I hear you on all points u make here.

My discussion desire is that, I believe I’ve been granted this charism, and am looking for others who may as well, and whom maybe wish to discuss it in light of Catholic Teaching. This is how I should’ve worded the OP but am very hesitant about such a thing.
I’m actually in process of writing on the topic. A couple deacons, 1 my spiritual advisor, had told me when the writing began that I should continue it, and I am now to the point of discerning if it will eventually be for public consumption and if so, how to make it that way.

I started out with 3 pages of personal notes and was spurred by 1 deacon to write more. After doing so, my advisor told me it’s something I need to pursue.
Now I’ve written a good bit more, edited/revised it til I’m blue in the face, yet know there needs to be some expansion about this charism in application. Therefore, here i seek to accomplish some research.

Thx so much for your reply,

Yes, aware of the Exercises. Have never done a 30 day retreat, but have read the work.

Ok, perhaps I title the OP incorrectly.

I am looking to chat with others who have this particular charism because I am in process of writing a book regarding it and would like to hear others’ experiences, stories, etc.


The more you are Saint, the more you discern the spirits, and the more Divine wisdom shines through you.
But some saints have lack of education and they try to discuss and advise the things that they do not know, or those things are not for their little minds.
I mean that there are spheres in the fields of politics, philosophy, comparative theology which requires too deep discernment

Our biggest problem is actually the inability to listen constant God’s whisper.
Many of us waste and not collect, we frequently waste- time, means, strength, years, on the temporary, and very little on what is eternally important.

Interesting, I believe that the most important thing is to discern what you here and whether or not it is of God. I would always go to scripture. I believe too that many times you know instinctively if something is right or not. If your not sure to seek wise counsel coupled with Prayer.

1 Like

You’re welcome… And yes… I can relate to your reticence / hesitation … and that is fine… … For as you show, t’is better to seek God’s Guidance on how you should approach this shall we say, ‘gift’… whether that be in book form … or even using it as you encounter let us say falsities… which in turn has become a known topical item during this present time.


“Hesitation” here for me is, I am extremely reluctant to even whisper on the topic as there indeed so many ‘falsities’ in the present time.

After posting, it seems perhaps i did so immaturely. I need to pray on this and discuss it with ordained persons, face to face, rather than doing anything on a public forum.

Again I thank you for your input/responses :slight_smile:


Indeed… And, you’re welcome… and you’re on the right track…

There is what’s called the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. I did that over a 32 week period with a once per week visit with my Spiritual Director. That was a very profitable exercise for someone not able to commit to the 30 day retreat full on.

1 Like

With God’s Holy Spirit within - other spirits stand out like sore thumbs…

Interesting. I’ll mention to my advisor. Thx.

Can you clarify that please?

After seeing the comment here, I went to to use the encyclopedia, saw they list 9 rather than 7 gifts - my bad there. However, if one looks at 1 Cor 12, and you take tongues + interpretation as one charism, there are 7. More are mentioned later.

The one gift/charism, here, that I wished to discuss was, “the discernment of spirits.” In apostolic times when there were still prophecies, it seems the gift was used to test prophecies spoken. However, to say that the charism ended there I think is inaccurate. I’d therefore like to discuss it now, as it pertains to laypersons and the Church, hence the OP.


Yes… And One VIA FAITH - must Have God’s Holy Spirit within as One’s Guide.

That is not Church Teaching, the “via faith” thing.
The Church teaches that we initially have an indelible mark of the Spirit upon us at baptism, and the “filling” comes at confirmation. Of course that would be “typical.” So for an adult, such as myself, who converted from a Protestant faith, I don’t know the details, but can only assume the confirmation I received was as a typical confirmation age youth receives.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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