I made the most dramatic discernment of my life (up till now) when I was a teenager and discerned God’s call to enter religious life. At the time, I didn’t have the depth of understanding of discernment that I do now. But if you’d have asked me, I would have described discernment as, “seeking to do God’s will.” That classic definition still works for me, as well as all the descriptions given in my previous post.
(Yes, it was a trick question: all the answers are correct!)
But below are some of my favorite descriptions of discernment:
1. Seeking God’s will for my life
2. Coming to know Christ and recognize his presence in the story of my life
3. A spiritual art in which I come to better understand how God communicates himself to me, and how God is saving me…my personal salvation story. This definition is taken from one of my favorite authors on discernment, Jesuit priest Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, from his book: Discernment: Acquiring the Heart of God. More about his wonderful book soon!
Perhaps you’d like to add a description of discernment in your own words. If you do, please share it!
(You can email me if you’d like me to post it, or you can put it in the comments below.)
Keeping in mind both these descriptions and the ones from my previous post, we can now look more closely at why discernment is important:
If we believe in a God who truly loves us and wants what is best for us, then discerning what God wants is the best way to find happiness. God’s story for us may have its ups and downs, but it always leads to a happy ending!