What Is Discernment?

Discerning one’s vocation is not just about making good choices, like what to wear today, what to name a pet fish, or what to study in college. Discernment is about developing a relationship with God so that we can come to: 

  • see our life as God sees it, and 
  • desire for our life what God wants for us.  

Discernment helps us become more attentive to what’s going on in our daily life, to our deeper desires and hopes, as well as our reactions or responses to the world around us. Our unique gifts and personalities, our own distinctive personal histories and backgrounds shape the way we see the world and what we can offer it. God doesn’t call us to become someone we are not. Instead God lovingly calls us to be the best version of ourselves, living our giftedness in the world in the same way that Jesus did. 

Discerning our vocation, then, means discovering how God invites us to live out the gift of who we are in the world. Another way of looking at it is to ask: How might God be calling us to put ourselves, with all our uniqueness and giftedness, at the service of others?

Just beginning to discern? Start here: How To Begin Discerning God's Will and 5 Helpful Tips for Making a Good Discernment.

Discernment Resources & Tips


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The Daughters of St. Paul: A presence of hope in today's world is a digital magazine that gives you all the quick facts about us in image and words: who we are, our spirituality, our mission, plus interviews with four sisters who share what inspires them in their vocation, how they discerned, and what Pauline life is like for them now. 


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