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We usually think of discernment as what we do when we make an important decision in our lives—when we try to separate or distinguish the best course of action. The word discern, however, is grounded in the word concern and in the Sanskrit word that means to “pour out.” When we are in prayer, we are, in fact, pouring out our souls to heaven, and in the silent space between prayer and divine insight, we are sorting out, separating and distinguishing what God might be trying to say to us. When prayer is the foundation of discernment, we are emptying our souls into the hands of heaven and having them filled again with the presence and direction of God.

Let these questions help you in that prayerful process.

  1. What kind of life am I being called to create for myself?

  2. When discernment seems difficult, and decisions hard to make, what brings peace to my mind?

  3. Who are the people who help me reach inner clarity?

  4. How do the uneven edges of indecisiveness actually lead me closer to a decision?

  5. How can discernment deepen my relationship with God?

  6. How can I stay centered when clarity feels distant?

  7. How is discernment more a process of discovery than decision-making?

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