What is discernment?

A Resurrectionist Vocation Minute for June 9, 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time

What is discernment? 

In the Collect – or opening prayer – for today’s Mass, we pray: “…grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it.”

People often think of “discernment” as trying to receive a “message” from God about some decision that we are faced with.  In its more extreme forms, it is basically trying to make God fit into our way of seeing things, and asking God to do what we want – even if it is trying to seek “God’s will” in the matter at hand.

Genuine “discernment” is not about trying to make God fit into my way of seeing things.  It’s about being open to seeing things as God sees them.  When we genuinely seek to do that, the way often becomes clear for us.

“We strive for that perfect obedience in which we seek to do God's will in everything. As our faith grows we will come to recognize that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in many different ways: Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, the prescriptions of our Constitutions and Statutes, ecclesiastical and religious superiors, personal inspirations, the consensus we arrive at when we collectively seek God's will through dialogue and house meetings, the demands of common life and the apostolate, and the events of daily life.”

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