USML | Successful Discernment Tips

Signs, Questions and Next Steps

"In the process of inquiring an individual should search their minds and hearts with the help of their pastor or spiritual director. Our willingness to follow our vocation is a huge factor in our ability to discover it. Discovery includes both our intellect and our heart. True discernment also gains approval from our mentors, pastors and spouses."

Successful Discernment... 

Five Discernement Suggestions: 

1 | In discernment there is always a confusion of options, because there are many things that stir our interest. Suggestion: Reach for the dominant interest.

2 | In discernment the decision-making process is a complicated process because there are layers of decisions in shaping any real direction in life. Suggestion: Follow the leads that are in front of you.

3 | In discernment the present moment always feels a bit uncertain because we only get a partial glimpse of life in that present moment … never the full picture that we want. Suggestion: Trust what you know.

4 | In discernment you will always encounter a certain amount of inner resistance because there is real risk in making any significant decision. Suggestion: Explore the depth of love in making an important decision.

5 | In discernment the road is always a bit foggy because the future remains a bit hidden from our view.

Some key thoughts that play a role in successful discernment:

  • We overcome the instability of our emotions. Christian life becomes a matter of conviction and love.

  • The attraction of riches and pleasures of this life are not pursued nor minimized – we don’t reject our humanity – but we do know their proper place and perspective.

  • The Word of God finds ‘good soil’ when it is incorporated in our soul.

  • We possess honest and pure motivation and our attitude is that of Christ.

  • We stop thinking about our gifts and ourselves and concentrate on others.

  • We are willing to pray for enlightenment.

  • We desire self-knowledge and we accept the objectivity of outsiders.

  • We possess a desire for the committed life that is forever. It is not short-term in its nature but a lifetime commitment.

  • We possess a willingness to assess our life and we are authentic and sincere in pursuing holiness. We not only strive to be a ‘saint’ but we endeavor to lead others to a saintly existence.

  • We realize that our faith is growing and we desire to be consumed for the Lord.

  • We open ourselves to a growing sensitivity to the needs of people and to learning to lead people to Jesus Christ.

  • We acquire in a spirit of humility and virtue a growing sense that God has something great and special planned for us.

  • We humbly accept the objective assessment of the Church’s representative (IDS) in formal vocation discernment.



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