What is the Discernment Process?


Discernment is “listening” for the most loving choice through the practice of silence, prayer, conversation with others, openness, and noticing the movement toward peace.

The process of discerning God’s gracious will in our lives begins with an attentive reflection upon our experiences, especially decision making and actions for justice. In these experiences, God is speaking to us and revealing to us who God is and how God is acting in our midst.

Attentive reflection is different from “thinking about” or “processing” experiences. The difference flows from the faith which guides the reflection. Faith leads us to look at our unfolding experience from the perspective of God’s presence and action in all of creation and in all of us.*

Are You Called?

Here are some questions to consider if you are discerning a vocation:

  • Has your desire to become a religious been constant?
  • How do your experiences of prayer, relationships, and activity help your desire become clear?
  • How do your prayer, your feelings, and your relationships confirm and affirm your desire and move you toward peace?

For more on discernment, contact Sr. Anita Quigley.

*Excerpts from “Finding God in Each Moment: The Practice of Discernment in Everyday Life” by Carol Ann Smith, SHCJ, and Eugene F. Merz, SJ.