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Discernment: Finding Your Way to Clarity

[caption id="attachment_580" align="alignright" width="200"]Pat Dual Blog by Sr. Pat Dual, OP[/caption] What is the best decision you have ever made? How did you know? What is the worst decision you have ever made? Do you have any insights about what happened in the discernment of these decisions? There's a pretty good chance that the difference was in the discernment process - or the lack of discernment - in the decision making process. Our lives are full of experiences, discerning options and making decisions. Perhaps it is a choice about a job, which school to attend, or a relationship. Perhaps it is about what you are going to do with the rest of your life. People of all ages, but especially youth and young adults, wrestle with both small and large life issues. Our faith and biblical teachings assure us that God has a purpose in life for each of us, but finding clarity about God's call in our life or about other life decisions we must make - can be challenging. But one thing is certain, the ability to discern and make good decisions in life is a vital skill in today's culture, where success and living a meaningful life are defined in ways that are often counter to how God and faith call us to live. So, what is involved in good decision making and discernment? How do you know if it’s the right decision? There are several important things you should do when making a decision or doing any kind of discernment. They include making God an intentional part of the decision process, knowing yourself and talking with a mentor or someone you trust. Discernment requires patience and a willingness to listen for and pay attention to the movement of the Spirit in your life. Need more help or guidance? Seek out a spiritual director, a mentor, your pastor, minister or trusted friend who can be objective with you - and pray! To conclude, in honor of World Day of Prayer for Vocations this Sunday, I would like to end by sharing with you this beautiful discernment/vocation prayer by Sr. Pat Bergen, CSJ:
May Wisdom be present in your discernment shedding light upon God's dormant dreams and unfolding paths. May Trust invite you to explore the unknown with a hopeful heart. May supportive companions keep vigil in your waiting. May you be blessed with patience and courage in the expression of your true self. May the yearnings of the Spirit call forth Generosity and Great Love. And, may your heart be opened always to welcome Holy Newness. Amen.
Do you feel called to discern religious life? Or are you interested in participating in a monthly discernment group in person or virtually? I would love to hear from you!

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