What is spiritual decernment to you?

Some people view spiritual decernment as quoting the scripture.

Some view it as a decerning conscience.

Some view it as seeking right understanding

Some view it as praying and being healed by God (James 5-17)

How do you understand spiritual decernment?

God bless…

What do you view it as? Is this going to be just another one of several threads that that you start jumping from forum to forum and not participate in any of the discussion or comments? What is your intent in doing this?


If you want to learn about Catholicism sit in on an RCIA session.

I would say it is the continuing formation of wisdom in a person’s soul:

Deciding wisely between which paths are spiritually fruitful for the soul and which are detrimental to one’s spiritual progress.

Ever get that feeling when you first meet someone, you don’t know why, or what happened, they really didn’t do anything or say anything but you just want to pull back, kind of a “woah, I don’t want to be here” feeling.

That’s part of discernment, the unseen, the Holy Spirit is warning you, there is something there that you shouldn’t be a part of.

On the opposite end people use to say that when Mother Teresa would walk in the room everyone would be attracted to her, she and Saints like her had this unseen, unexplainable attraction to them. People wanted to be around them, to listen to them.

Or at least that’s how Mother Angelica explained it…

This is an excellent example

I was just going to say the same thing, you beat me to it!

USMC- thanks for your post.

Just a little warning though… You can’t go by that feeling alone. Sometimes its the mileau of the place one is in at the time or the prestige of a person that could ‘speak’ to someone. But I do agree that it is necessary to listen to it, or at least heed it.

I’m not sure everyone is attracted to all saints like you gave in your example. Some were downright hated. Jesus was hated. I’m not sure what people ‘felt’ around Him, but its obvious there were those who didn’t get a good feeling/sense about Him, maybe because they loved their darkness and sins? It seems to me that its still something one has to be cautious about and really get a good sense as to the why one is feeling what they are feeling and not some sort of materialistic or egoic reaction. There are also such things noted as “false locutions”.

Discernment is not easy! One very good reason why we need other Christians to help us discern.

Do I know what God wants? Am I following God’s Will in my life? Am I making the right choice?
As we go through life, not everything will appear as black and white. Some decisions have greater consequences than others. I know that I have often felt a disquiet within myself until I have made a decision based on personal conscience. It will not necessarily be a popular decision, but one that brings peace of spirit because it is in line with God’s Will.
How do I know it is in line with God’s Will?
What are the circumstances of my life? Do I have family obligations that I need to tend to?
Is it in line with scripture? While scripture may say go forth into the world and preach, and I feel a desire to go to Africa, my family obligations would say that I am more needed at home.
Is it in line with magisterial teaching? What does the Church teach? There were many young women inspired by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. They wanted to join her in India. Coming back to the idea of personal circumstance, she reminded them to look closer to home. What were the needs in their own community? It wasn’t necessary to go to Africa or India to do missionary work. There are people in need in local communities.
Scripture tells us to use our talents. Perhaps a young person is called to university to become a doctor. God will open the doors, provide the necessary scholarships that make it possible so he or she can return to a rundown community that needs help.
Discernment does take time to develop. Prayer as communication involves not only reciting the prayers that we learned in childhood, but also listening to the Holy Spirit.
That listening to the Holy Spirit is often referred to a “prompting.” Walk down this street rather than turning down the other; it’s a gut feeling.
I tend to be stubborn, so I’ve had to develop a listening ear. What are people advising me? It usually takes me three times to hear a piece of advice before I follow through. For example, I was rear ended in a car accident. A man who heard the accident came down and asked if I needed to go to the hospital. “No, I’m fine.” The police officer investigating the accident asked the same question. I still decline the ambulance. After I drive home I decide I better get checked out. That was just a simple common sense matter while others are of course more complex, and too personal to discuss.


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