What is Discernment?
Because a vocation is a serious commitment of one’s life to follow God’s call, proper effort and care are required to determine what God’s call is. This diligent consideration of what God is calling one to do is called vocational discernment.
Proper discernment requires a person to:
- Know and understand oneself – personality, strengths and weaknesses, inclinations, spirituality, mental ability, even physical health
- Know, understand, and love our Catholic Faith
- Understand the different vocations, what they entail, and what they mean for the lives of those who embrace them
Of course, this cannot happen instantaneously, so vocational discernment is not a quick and easy task. Once begun, it often takes months, and sometimes years to determine what route to begin. And once begun, it often takes years to determine the final answer to the question “what is my vocation?”
Thus, discernment requires study, prayer, and patience. And one cannot discern alone. The best way to discern is with help from the Church, ideally from a priest or someone trustworthy to help guide you. This spiritual director can help you to better understand yourself and where God is calling you.
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