The word comes from the Latin "discernere" which means to separate, to sift apart. The word is often used to describe how a person comes to know their vocation. And really that is what you are doing. You are sifting through all those thoughts and feelings about your vocation and all the input you have received from outside to figure out what is from God.

There are so many voices, figuratively speaking, telling us what we should or should not do with our lives, but which one is God? If you want to recognize His voice, to discern it from all the others, you’re going to have to get to know Him. You get to know Him by spending time with Him in prayer, reading Scripture, through the Sacraments and through each other.

Practical steps to take to discern your vocation

1. Receive the Sacraments

Go to confession regularly, like once a month or more frequently. Prepare yourself ahead of time and receive Christ in the Eucharist at least weekly. Participating in Mass daily is wonderful if you can do it.

"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven."

-Pope St. Pius X

"The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works."

-St. Augustine

2. Pray!

Spend time with the Lord. Go to Eucharistic Adoration if you can. And ASK HIM what He wants you to do.

"Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual edifice. Prayer is all powerful."

-The Way, 83, St. Josemaria Escriva

3. Live the Life

You won’t have a good relationship with God if you’re not trying to live His commands. Live a good Catholic Christian life to the best of your ability.

"When Blessed John the Evangelist was so old that he had to be carried to Church by the disciples, and was not able to speak much, he used to say nothing other than: 'Little children, love one–another.'"

-Related by St. Jerome

"Love God, serve God; everything is in that."

-St. Clare of Assisi

4. Read

Read and meditate on the Scriptures, spiritual classics, the lives of the saints…

"You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress."

-St. Athanasius

"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

-St. Jerome


5. Get help

The Christian journey is not meant to be traveled alone. Talk to your confessor, spiritual director, a vocation director, a priest or religious, a person who is friend of God.

"Go to your confessor; open your heart to him; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity. For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls."

-St. Francis de Sales

Above all remember that the Good Lord loves you and wants you to be happy. He made you and knows what will make you happy better than you do. He loves your loved ones more than you do and wants their happiness as well. He is all powerful and all-knowing and so His plans for you are not only for your good but also for the good of everyone else. SO TRUST HIM!

"Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away and He gives you everything. When we give ourselves to Him, we receive a hundred-fold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ - and you will find true life."

-Pope Benedict XVI

"Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly."

-St. Ignatius Loyola

"If you are what you should be, then you will set the world on fire."

-St. Catherine of Siena