A sense of a spiritual call by God to serve His people through the priesthood, discernment is the process by which you come to know what God wants for your life. Rather than asking God to bless your life in the way in which you have chosen to live and serve Him, discernment is choosing to serve Him in whichever way He invites you. In order to fully become what God wants you to be, you must be willing to listen and hear God speak His desire for your life.  

Discernment is experienced through recurring thoughts, a growing attraction to the priesthood, and a blossoming sense that you can find your fulfillment by serving God as a servant-leader. True discernment requires what St. Ignatius of Loyola calls Holy Indifference—far from a lack of caring, it is the state of being so confident in God’s love and desire for your greatest happiness, that you no longer feel the need to grasp for that which you think will make you happy, but rather be open to the plan God has for you. 

The process of discernment allows you to grow in intimacy with Christ, to become more mature in faith and love, and to deepen your knowledge of and trust in God. Choosing what Christ wants is not done out of fear, resignation, or obligation, but instead it is experienced with great joy—as you grow in intimacy with God and your inner self, you find that what He wants is truly what you want. 

God speaks to you in a variety of ways, through your thoughts, feelings, and desires. Thus, you must take time throughout the day to reflect on your thoughts; and allow liturgical, communal and private prayer to sustain your growth in your relationship with Christ. Beyond listening to God’s call, however, discernment requires taking action on that call. Do not let worry about making a wrong choice paralyze you from making any decision, as perfection has no place in discernment. God has a beautiful plan for your life, but you must be willing to act upon it. 

Read our recent blog on the steps to becoming a priest.