Discernment means taking special time to listen to God in your life. It involves praying, reflecting on the Scriptures, examining your life and sharing with someone who can listen to and reflect with you. This person is a trusted companion, someone who keeps confidences and is a person of faith with some recognised skills and standing in the Church.
What does discernment mean?
You might spend your whole life discerning and never get a direct answer. It's a matter of being open to God in your life and world and responding to Him as best you can.
Perhaps this story will help. If someone collapses outside your house, you know what to do - ring the emergency number for the police and ambulance. In this case, discernment is pretty much instantaneous.
In terms of what to do in your life, it's generally not so instantaneous, but you can build up a picture and come to a reasonable and mature decision.
John Henry Newman was a famous man of the English Church of the last century. His prayer may help you:
Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom.Lead thou me on;The night is dark, and I am far from home;Lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to seeThe distant scene; one step is enough for me.
As you can see, discernment is not easy. There is no quick fix solution. But don't give up hope. You are not alone and help is always available.
Help is available - there is a process.Go to the next page.