A Discerning Life


I was having a conversation about discernment yesterday with someone who was saying that in her everyday life she realises that she finds it really challenging to look at where feelings are coming from – why she reacts to particular situations etc.  She was saying that it is an aspect of living a discerning life that she is quite lazy about because it can be uncomfortable to recognise parts of our lives that we have to change.
What are your thoughts on disernment?

7 Responses to “A Discerning Life”

  1. Aura Says:

    I think because people are not born with this ‘ability’ to discern they tend to avoid things that threaten their understanding, their expectations, their way of living once they start to discern. It is a difficult part of the discernment – to follow the Good Spirit which sometimes ‘requires’ a radical change of the course of our lives. The other day I was reading Rahner and his beautiful ‘version’ of Our Father prayer where he says: “Your will be done even if it kills us because Your will is Life.” …It takes an awful lot of efforts and trust to let go off your life and follow where the spirit leads you because the thing is you are stepping into the unknown which is sometimes (or most of the time) scary for people as we like to be in control all the time. Rahner adds: “…deliver us from ourselves, deliver us into you, deliver us into your freedom and your Life.” …And I think that’s what discernment is all about.

    • Ana Says:

      I think that people who actually think they are in control of their lives are sadly mistaken.
      It’s only when we allow Jesus to ” take the wheel” that discerment can become part of our daily life, and eventually become effortless.
      Like with many other things….practice makes perfect. The more we discern the better we get at it.

      • Aura Says:

        Agree with you Ana – people are mistaken to think they are in control, however, right or wrong, they still do it and there’s nobody, according to them, who can ‘take their wheel’. Human beings are funny creatures.

  2. Anouska fcJ Says:

    Stepping out of the ‘boat’ most certainly can be scary Aura, and as Peter shows us in the Gospel when we focus on ourselves, our fears, what we might be losing control of we can begin to sink beneath the waves. However, if we can focus on the reason why we are stepping out of the boat – to be with Jesus – then it’s amazing what we can do – even to become able to walk on the water.

    • Aura Says:

      Very beautiful Anouska. Yes, can’t agree more.
      …But also no matter whether we choose to step out of the boat or not Jesus is always with us inviting again and again us to keep trying.

  3. Madeleine, fcJ Says:

    For me, discernment is like a space inside of me where I release ideas and then watch as they move. I am always trying to listen hard to hear God’s voice in the matter. As I watch how the ideas connect to other thoughts, I can get a sense of God speaking to me about the goodness and integrity of what I am evaluating……

  4. joannafcj Says:

    I find that people new to discernment think it is “figuring out why you do what you do”. To me, the “why” is not the point. You need to look at what happens once you make a certain choice. What are the results? Where does it lead? What feelings does it bring? That is what you sift through in discernment. You ask yourself: “Where is the life, the light, the hope, the joy — the courage and confidence?”
    Also, I liked what Aura said about “let go of your life and follow where the Spirit leads”. I think that if we are trying to be faithful in our lives, we are becoming a “someone” who is as yet somewhat unknown to us — our true self! Not the self we had in mind or thought we would be come…but the self God gifts us with more and more, as we let go.
    Anouska mentioned about Peter. I heard a really great version of the “Depart from me for I am a sinful man” story from the gospels. Jesus’ response to Peter was: ” Oh, no, Peter! That is the way you see yourself…who you think you are! I am going to show you who you really are!”

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