Discernment takes place in LISTENING. Stilling our heart and being open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit demands that we listen. Too often we bombard heaven with our urgent requests in a manner that suggests we are unsure of God's trustworthiness. Listening to God is more than just pausing to take a breath before launching into more petitions.

Discernment is an art and it is learned by doing, not just by reading about it. It is a function of an individual's personal relationship with the Lord. When we desire to do God's will, are willing to be open to God and have a solid knowledge of God, then discernment is possible. Therefore, prayer is an essential component to the process of discernment. To be a truly discerning person, we need to be humble, charitable and courageous. As we become more familiar with the Lord in prayer, we will come to know that the "still small voice" speaks in peace, never in turmoil, anxiety or restlessness.

Discernment takes place in PRAYER. As we engage God in a spiritual conversation, speaking and listening from the heart, we are moved to deepen our relationship with the risen Christ. The drive is a mystery as our response takes on a power that causes us to re-evaluate our priorities. We speak and hear the words we exchange with God at a very personal level.
God calls us in so many ways, sometimes it's hard to work out what it is he is asking us to do. Our understanding and response is often spread over a whole lifetime and can happen at a pace barely perceptable. This hearing God's call in all its guises is what we mean by discernment.
What Discernment Means
Practical Suggestions for Discernment
What it Involves
Discernment takes place in SILENCE. The value of silence is emphasised by Jesus taking to the desert for 40 days before the start of his earthly ministry. With nothing and no one to distract him, Jesus shows us how to be quiet and peaceful in the presence of the Father.
Discernment takes place in OBEDIENCE.When we trust God and respond to his call,even though we are unsure of what may happen on the way, our obedience makes his will, not ours, be done.
Our Response
Our first reaction to the call is a yearning for a deeper participation in the Eucharist: regular and frequent presence at the Holy Mass; spending time at the exposition of the Sacred Body. We also look for guidance: taking time to discuss the call with one we trust; asking God for an indication of what he is asking us to do.
Some practical suggestions which will help you discern God's call are: