What is Discernment?

Questions to ponder before embarking on Vocation Discernment

In order to discover what one’s life treasure and driving force (God) truly is, a person can ask him/herself some pointed questions:


  • For what and for whom am I willing to expend the most energy? 
  • On what do I spend most of my time? 
  • What do I most enjoy doing? 
  • What dreams and goals are the most important to me and how far am I willing to go to see them come to fruition? 
  • In what or whom do I place the most trust? 
  • What is my purpose for living? 
  • To what or to whom am I so committed that I would die rather than betray it or him? 
  • The answers to these questions can help a person know what is the driving force behind his or her life, and thus begin to discover what or who his or her God really is.




Preparing For Vocational Discernment Practical Steps

Many people are eager to “know what God wants them to do with their life” and seek what is commonly known as vocational discernment. It is good to know what are the basic pre-requisites in order to embark on this journey of discovery.These are some pointers which have proved useful for many. Take some time to reflect and then write /draw five sentences on


  • Who am I? What do I like about myself and what do I dislike about myself?
  • What are my strengths? What are my shadows/weaknesses?
  • What is my image/experience of God ( as a child, teenager, as adult and right now)
  • What is my image/experience of Jesus?
  • What is my image/experience of God’s spirit?
  • How do I experience the Word of God?
  • What is my image/experience of the Church?
  • What is my perception of married, single and religious life?
  • How would I describe the world today in 5 sentences?
  • What is my daily personal prayer life like?



Complete the following sentences


  1. Family life is ……………..
  2. School life is……………..
  3. Working life is…………..
  4. People are…………………
  5. A meaningful life is……..




Review of your reflection

A review of your reflections and journal will give you an inkling of who you are and who God is for you and probably by sharing it with your companion, you could then decide on how you would like to begin a proper process of vocational discernment.




Very helpful reference

Filomena Agudo, I CHOSE YOU, Daughters of St. Paul, 1985.




Download more readings on discernment

Sr Anita Louise Lowe, O.S.B., Four steps to hearing your call (.pdf download)


Fr Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., Nine ways to open up God's will for you (.pdf download)