Discernment is the
virtue that helps us to know the best course of action and to
understand the truth and falsity in a situation….
When discerning anything, the best place to begin is with prayer.
Ask God to show you the right way, the right decision, the perfect
action, the truth of the situation. Consulting Scripture may help
you make a decision and can give insight. Speaking to others who
would have the knowledge and insight to advise you is an important
part of discernment. Writing down the pros and cons of each
alternative can help you visually determine what might be the best
course of action. Writing can also help you determine where the
truth lies in a certain situation. In moral and theological
situations, consulting the teachings of the Church will help you
to know which decisions and courses of action are morally and
theologically correct. After doing these things, you must make a
decision and take action as the men did who first followed
Francis. Discernment without action is useless.
Can we ever be positive that we have discerned accurately?
Sometimes we cannot be certain. However, if we have asked God for
His direction and have tried to prudently follow where He is
leading, then we need to trust our decision.
Confraternity of Penitents, Jennifer Vetter, ed.,
Franciscan Virtues Through the Year: 52 Steps to Conversion
from Saint Francis of Assisi, © 2016
Confraternity of Penitents, p. 16.