Discernment Tips

Laying on of Hands

We had been washed in baptism and confirmed in our belief and given the eucharistic nourishment in memory of Him. But there seemed to come a time when the Lord was calling us to take some further step.

— Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross, 1:2

In Scripture we find many stories wherein God’s call was made manifest through some spectacular event, like a burning bush, an angelic messenger, or Christ Himself standing on the seashore. The reality is that our call will likely come in a much more subtle manner.

Coming to an understanding of our call is a matter of discernment. It is a prayerful handling of the manifestations of God’s will that come to us through our skills and abilities, our hearts’ desire, the circumstances of our lives, and the encouragement of others.

There is no set program that will lead us through discernment to a definitive answer. And yet there are steps that we can take.  

These steps begin with preparing your heart which then leads to asking the questions and listening for God’s call.  Along this process it is helpful to access aids to discernment as well as address any fears and questions that come up along the way.

Litany of the Saints in Priesthood Ordination

Prepare Your Heart

Entering into the process of discernment requires a level of preparation. A key focal point for this preparation is your heart. It is a powerful tool in the process of discernment and it is important to spend time preparing it.

Final Vows at Basilica

Ask the Question

Once your heart is prepared, the answers will not necessarily come rolling in. The next step is to consider the questions that need to be asked and ask them of yourself. 

Ordination Mass at the Basilica

Listen for God's call

God’s call does not always come clearly or in the manner that you are anticipating, yet the call will come. Consider some of the ways that you can be attentive to hearing God's call.

Discernment Aids

Discernment Aids

Discerning God's call is not always an easy process, yet there are several aids that are time tested for assisting you in opening your heart, asking the question, and listening for God’s call.

Laying on of Hands by Bishop

Address Fears and Questions

Fears and uncertainties can often derail the discernment process. Here we address several common fears and questions.