OSV Alive in Christ Logo
Close
Close
Close
Close
Faith and Spiritual Growth

Transitions: Discernment 101

Discernment 101
 

by Marianne Diaz

Discernment refers to sifting through good options. The practice of discernment takes place when we address major decisions in our life and when we make choices on a daily basis. The most basic option that we face in our lives requires us to choose between the path of foolishness and the path of wisdom. Once we have chosen to build our homes on solid ground and have begun to take steps in this direction we can begin to recognize different ways of discerning. Ignatius of Loyola describes three approaches to discernment. The first type of discernment I refer to as the "no-brainers." In these situations, God moves us so strongly and immediately in a particular direction that we cannot deny the obvious nature of the choice we should make. At least God sometimes gives us a chance to use the "easy button™!" The second form of discernment requires the weighing of the presence of the spirit in our lives through consolation and desolation. How does the deepest part of our identities respond to the options? Does a particular choice bring deep peace or cause great unrest? We have to be certain to explore beyond the surface layer of our emotional lives while discerning this way. This form of discernment takes time and so does the third approach. The third approach to discernment involves the use of reason to indicate a particular resolution. You might make a list of pros and cons and prioritize the importance of elements included on the list. This simple process we take for granted finds its roots in the Christian spiritual tradition!

resource thumbnail

Catholic-Parent Know How

An easy-to-use, practical guide helps parents be informed and engaged in the faith formation of their child.

$1.95

resource thumbnail

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: People of Faith Cards

Children encounter models of our Catholic faith through these beautifully illustrated People of Faith cards. Contains a prayer and brief biography on the back of each card.

$7.95 (25-pack)