VOCATION - Discerning

Making an enlightened choice

To discern is to sift out and come to see more clearly through complex and obscure situations.

It is not limited to a popular and pragmatic discernment as to whether or not one must change cars, add an addition to the house, sell the house or move to another location. True discernment is of an altogether different nature, namely, that of seeking the will of God for me. Jean-Guy Arnaud, S.J., has written a beautiful book on discernment : "Où veux-tu m'emmener Seigneur? "Where are you leading me, Lord(Éditions Mediapaul, 2003). He invites us to enter into "an adventure called discernment." Let yourself be carried... along the road that leads to decision through the process of discernment.

A possible process:
First, place oneself unconditionally in a state of indifference, availability. Ask the Lord to show himself, help one see clearly, to discover God’s ways.

1st phase: Determine the scope of the question. Take one aspect at a time. For example don’t at one and the same time ask, do I have a vocation and to which community should I be looking. First ask Is the Lord calling me to religious life? Take time to look at the facts, the signs within and around oneself.

2nd phase: Focus on one question at a time and make a list of why YES? Why NO?

3rd phase: Check how you feel about the outcome of your deliberations.

4th phase: You find what you were looking for, namely, the will of God on the precise question. Now comes the moment to make a personal decision based on the light received. There are two aspects to the decision: one is the personal implication and the acceptance of responsibility for the outcome of the proposed project; the second is the will to dismiss anything that would oppose the implementation of the project.

Reread the history of Jerome LeRoyer de la Dauversiere, a man who heard the call, who took time (6 years) to discern with those accompanying him.  Then one day he said yes and proceeded in spite of the difficulties.