What is Discernment?


#1

I do not understand if Discernment is a process I involve myself in, or if I have been Discerning without knowing it. How do we come to know God's will for our lives? I like this girl, and sometimes fear Religious Life. I hope I am not resisting God's will. I am young (16), but also a junior in high school, and I believe that i need to put God's Will first to determine my college and major.

Christ's Peace and God Bless


#2

[quote="sowinskija, post:1, topic:310403"]
I do not understand if Discernment is a process I involve myself in, or if I have been Discerning without knowing it. How do we come to know God's will for our lives? I like this girl, and sometimes fear Religious Life. I hope I am not resisting God's will. I am young (16), but also a junior in high school, and I believe that i need to put God's Will first to determine my college and major.

Christ's Peace and God Bless

[/quote]

There's a little bit of both of those things involved when one is discerning. However, discerning is a primarily active process; what I mean is that as much as we may be lead to do God's will without knowing it, discerning means we are trying to to figure it out.

Here are some general pieces of advice which I hope you find helpful:

-First and foremost: prayer. And be serious about it, too. Truly petition God for a deeper understanding of the path that he desires for you to walk. Perhaps pray a novena; my spiritual director has recommended to me to pray a 54 day Rosary Novena as I discern the priesthood.

-Play to your strengths. Are you really good with kids? Do you tutor fellow students and enjoy it? Maye you ought to consider being a teacher. Look for the gifts God has given you and see how they can be applied.

-Don't be someone you aren't. When I was a young teenager, I wanted to be an EMT (specifically, I wanted to be a Navy corpsman with a Marine unit, but that's another story). However, I came to the realization that I cannot stand the sight of blood (I get pretty close to passing out), and therefore, being an EMT would not have been a good choice for me.

-God does not motivate through fear. If the reason that you make a certain choice is because you are afriad of making the alternative choice, then God is not the one who motivated that choice.

*-Let go and let God. *Trite as that may sound, I'm serious. Don't work yourself into a lather because it seems like you don't have tha answer yet. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and trust in Him.

Finally, I would like to share with you this prayer by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, which I have always been comforted by when I do not seem to be finding the right way:

*"My Lord God I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

~Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"*


#3

Thank you!


#4

For me it has very much been in hindsight that I have been able to see where God has been leading me.

Our whole lives are a journey and I always feel that discernment is like looking at a map to see where you have come from and where you are going, with God as our compass. And so it is something that you are aware of doing, but is not limited to the present and future.

Wherever the Lord is calling you, He will always be at your side.

God Bless


#5

[quote="Aquila_Lucis, post:2, topic:310403"]
There's a little bit of both of those things involved when one is discerning. However, discerning is a primarily active process; what I mean is that as much as we may be lead to do God's will without knowing it, discerning means we are trying to to figure it out.

Here are some general pieces of advice which I hope you find helpful:

-First and foremost: prayer. And be serious about it, too. Truly petition God for a deeper understanding of the path that he desires for you to walk. Perhaps pray a novena; my spiritual director has recommended to me to pray a 54 day Rosary Novena as I discern the priesthood.

-Play to your strengths. Are you really good with kids? Do you tutor fellow students and enjoy it? Maye you ought to consider being a teacher. Look for the gifts God has given you and see how they can be applied.

-Don't be someone you aren't. When I was a young teenager, I wanted to be an EMT (specifically, I wanted to be a Navy corpsman with a Marine unit, but that's another story). However, I came to the realization that I cannot stand the sight of blood (I get pretty close to passing out), and therefore, being an EMT would not have been a good choice for me.

-God does not motivate through fear. If the reason that you make a certain choice is because you are afriad of making the alternative choice, then God is not the one who motivated that choice.

*-Let go and let God. *Trite as that may sound, I'm serious. Don't work yourself into a lather because it seems like you don't have tha answer yet. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and trust in Him.

Finally, I would like to share with you this prayer by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, which I have always been comforted by when I do not seem to be finding the right way:

*"My Lord God I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that my desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

~Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"*

[/quote]

Thank you for this.


#6

[quote="sowinskija, post:1, topic:310403"]
I do not understand if Discernment is a process I involve myself in, or if I have been Discerning without knowing it. How do we come to know God's will for our lives? I like this girl, and sometimes fear Religious Life. I hope I am not resisting God's will. I am young (16), but also a junior in high school, and I believe that i need to put God's Will first to determine my college and major.

Christ's Peace and God Bless

[/quote]


#7

[quote="St_Hilary, post:6, topic:310403"]

[/quote]

You talk to the mother superior; look around and ask what kind of owork doo they do.

You must have a spiritual director who will guide you. He is trained in nthis area.

Don't do it on your own because it will be very taxing.

Your spiritual director will assist you. Also if you can, tryu to attend daily mass and communion as well as frequent confession.

God loove you


closed #8

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