How to begin the Discernment Process

A Christian disciple is therefore someone who lives the theological and human virtues. For this to be a reality the disciple needs both discipline and a willingness to learn. In this he is helped by developing a “plan of life” to ensure a development of his spiritual life. The plan of life could include the following elements:

Pray every day

Try to find a specific time and place every day when you can talk to the Lord in your own words about your life, your ambitions, your struggles, and your openness to his will. At other times during the day, you may find other prayers, such as the Rosary, can help keep you aware of God’s love. Allow him to challenge you to improve in little ways each day. Don’t forget that God’s word will come to you in the stillness of your heart so you have to make space to meet him there.

Stay close to the Sacraments

How to beginMake sure you go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation and as often during the week as your timetable will allow. The priest exists to offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and we should grow to love daily Mass. At Mass we are called to offer our life and activities to the Father and, as a consequence of our union with with Christ’s sacrifice, we anticipate the joy of heaven by receiving Jesus here on earth in Holy Communion. Don’t be surprised, as you get closer to God, to find you grow in awareness of how much your love falls short of the standard he asks of you. In the Gospels, right before his definitive call, Peter falls to his knees and says, “Leave me Lord I am a sinful man”. Get used to examining you conscience for two or three minutes each night and going to Confession at least once a month.

Spiritual Reading

It is good to read a passage of the Gospels every day to become very familiar with what the Holy Spirit has told us about the life of Christ.

We will also find it helpful to spend ten minutes or so each day reading some spiritual classic or biography of a saint. A list of suggested books can be found in the resources section of this website.

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is not counselling or therapy, but rather guidance in the spiritual life to help you grow in holiness and in the practice of the Christian virtues. Spiritual direction should help one to become more open to the Holy Spirit and identify His action in one’s life, to identify obstacles in the spiritual life and overcome them, and to grow in the life of prayer and virtue. It is a way that God works through the Church. It is important that one be as open and honest with a spiritual director as one would be with the Lord Himself, so that He can work through His chosen human instruments. If you need advice finding a Spiritual Director the Vocations Office may be able to help.