BEST BOOK FOR DISCERNMENT
Many people try to discern by putting in a lot of time, study, and research. All these are fine, but the strongest tool in discernment is prayer, and the most helpful resource is the Gospels.
We suggest that you spend 15 minutes a day reading the Gospels and meditating on what you've read. Ask God, "What message do You have for me today?"
An excellent way to do this is to use a time-teste compilation called Christ in the Gospel. Read the passage marked for that day. Then turn to the back of the book and answer the questions. You can look back at the passage for the answers!
Spend a few minutes praying about what you've read. Then ask God, "What message do You have for me today?"
If you do this consistently, three things will happen:
1. You will have read the entire life of Christ in six months.
2. You will come to know Jesus in a deeper way.
3. You will have more direction in your life at the end of six months than you have now.
Once you finish the book, just keep reading. Many people read this book daily year after year.
Below you will find a discernment topic for more consideration.
On this page, you will find a discernment topic that you can discuss yourself or share with the house parent of Annunciation House. The topics will change periodically. Check this page from time to time.
Let's study the photo.
What do you see in this photo?
What might be going on here?
Can you read any emotions in the young woman's face or body?
What is the woman carrying?
Why might she be carrying these?
Can you tell by her dress what the weather is?
What might happen in the next hour to this young lady?
Apply the photo to your discernment.
As you come to discern how God might be calling you, are you carrying any baggage that might impede you?
How much freer would this woman be without those folders?
How much freer would you be without the baggage that is an encumbrance to you?
How do you know what baggage you might be carrying? Here's a clue. When you pray, what keeps distracting you? Might there be some unresolved concerns in those intruding thoughts?
The young woman in the photo could just put down those folders. Or could she? She's dressed for the rain. Might they get ruined if she laid them at her feet? Is she supposed to deliver them somewhere? Does she need them for an assignment?
Maybe you can't just put down your baggage either. You can't just pretend it's non-existent. You can't run from it. You need to deal with it.
Discussion with others (like the house parent)
Possibly therapy with professionals.
Possibly reading up on your issues.
Yes, prayer is supposed to be in that list twice. Whatever we do, prayer should begin and end our endeavors and that includes dealing with baggage.
Did you ever think that going into a vocation is impeded by baggage you are carrying? Just like the young woman would have difficulty doing anything, even eating, carrying all those folders, so your baggage will get in the way of what you feel called to do.
Before pursuing a vocation at length, look at your baggage. Make a list of what you think about all the time. Of all the hurts you still mutter about. Of all the disappointments that linger in your memory. Of all the people who hurt you.
That's your baggage. Follow the steps above, beginning and ending with prayer, and make progress toward lightening your spiritual burden. Then your vocation discernment will bear good and abundant fruit.
If you wish, feel free to share your thoughts with the house mother at Annunciation House. God bless you in your discernment!