My choices, including those related to the day-to-day aspects of life, like the use of a modest car, are related to a spiritual discernment that responds to a need that arises from looking at things, at people and from reading the signs of the times. Discernment in the Lord guides me in my way of governing.
~Pope Francis I~
Lets talk Discernment.... What is this eleven letter word that has taken a hold of my life? It is amazing how a word can take control of your life and direct your actions, emotions, choices, and decisions. When they say words have power, they mean it and I am experiencing that first hand with that word of DISCERNMENT.
I must get this off my chest first. I HATE and LOVE what that word has done to my life. There are areas of my life that have flipped, been tossed around, taken from me and other areas where life is clearer, been added to and set straight. Yes, I know those descriptions seem like oxymorons but thats my life. A contradiction at times yes, but yet, makes the most sense as well, at least to me anyway. Discernment has to challenge what is there before you so you can comprehend what is going on between your heart, mind, soul, God and the world. Each may be pulling you or directing you in away that is contrary to the norm for yourself.
Discernment has challenged the norm that I thought of as my life. It has brought me in directions where I would not have seen nor ever thought I wanted. It has even brought me back to an area that I thought was closed off and over with. I am not sure what came first the idea of Priesthood or Discernment? It is like what came first the chicken or the egg. I think I was discerning before I knew what it was and from that the Priesthood was exposed. Then with the Priesthood came that more formal and direct discernment. I kept this idea hidden for months before I ever said it out loud. It is one thing when it is a thought or secret that is kept locked away then when you hear yourself say it out loud. It was for me, that WOW moment. It became more of a reality for me when I said it out loud and i even said to myself “Wow, I really think I want this. Who knew?”. Well, God knew of course.
I look back to the past year and where my life was and where it is now and I can honestly say that this is not at all where I saw my life. There are people in it that I did not see coming or even re-entering. There have been place that I have been and places I thought I would never see again. The people and places have added to this life that I am now leading and leading it with discernment on my mind, in my heart and soul.
What I have found to be the case with this word “Discernment” is that while its goal is to make it all clear in the end, to do so it, at times, makes things very cloudy. It brings those things that have fallen to the bottom of your life and brings them to the surface because you need to deal and face them. Some of those things may just be trivial things while others make you second guess the world you live in and the life you lead. Discernment is not just for the future clarity but as well as the past. There are things in everyones past that hold them back, second guess, and hangs your head in shame. With discernment those things become part of the puzzle of the life to come instead of that full image of who you are or better yet of who you were. In this way discernment become the strainer of the past so all the just stays where it belongs and the clarity of the past goes through.
I must admit that I have lacked the strength to focus on discernment. In part it is a fear of what that clarity will consist of and also just normal life. As rigid as some people feel I am, I lack that rigid prayer life. I multitask my prayer life to often. I drive and pray. I read and pray. I fall asleep and pray. When I was able to attend daily mass, do the liturgy of hours, attend adoration .. etc, it was easier to really look at discernment through a faith filled eye vs more of the secular world eye. When I am more of the world, the discernment of Priesthood lacks and more of what I used to want becomes more in my view. That just pulls me even further from making that decision of Priest or not. It doesn’t mean that if I keep only my eye on that faith that I will be a Priest but I have to face the fact that the other will for sure keep me from it.
There is more to “Discernment” then I thought. I guess you really can not understand it then go through it. I have been able to talk to some people who understand what I am going through and have said the key to it is Prayer... As one said. “Pray Pray Pray and when you are done Pray some more”. There is no fast track for Discernment but there sure are ways to delay it and force it off the tracks. Only I can really discern what is right and what God is calling me to in the end but I must ask for prayers for that strength to stay the course.
Until tomorrow, God Bless, and may all those who are discerning a new life, be granted the peace to explore it.