What is discernment?

With Deacon Joseph Abisaad at his ordination Saturday Feb. 13, 2016 at
St. Anthony, Lawrence.  Monsignor Georges, pastor of Our Lady of
the Cedars (l) Sister Marla Marie, Petra.  

When someone uses the word “discernment,” most people connect it with a person trying to decide about joining the priesthood or convent. Discernment is what should happen before we decide.  It is a journey of seeking God’s will in one’s life.  Here are a few suggestions for a young man or young women to consider as part of a religious vocation discernment journey. 
·      It is walking with the Lord, accompanying him and recognizing his presence. It is listening to your desires, feelings, and distinguishing God’s voice from other voices.
·      It is friendship with the Lord and becoming one with him through living the sacramental life (e.g. going to daily Eucharist, and confession regularly).
·      It is growing in self-knowledge (what are my strengths, weaknesses, what do I need to surrender to God so that he can transform me into his image of Love?)
·      It is a desire to serve and to “be" for others…It is being led by the love of Jesus to discover who he is, our merciful and loving Savior, friend, Lord and God…
·      It is not being afraid of our weaknesses and entrusting all to his merciful love. Jesus will lead us because he is with us.

The gift of a vocation is to be received in a spirit of love because it is an encounter with grace, with Jesus who is mercy incarnate. The best love is readiness to give and lay down one’s life for the other!   The journey of discerning a religious vocation can be summed up as a daily falling in love with Jesus.

(If  you have questions about discerning a religious vocation, contact the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light at maroniteservants.org or the vocation directors in your Eparchy.)