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DISCERNMENT: meaning to sift through; to sort out.

This term is used frequently by those who are considering a vocation to the priesthood. The discernment process helps a young man to sort out "God's call for him."

Practical suggestions
which will help a young man discern a call to the priesthood.

Daily Mass. The sacrifice of the Mass is the Church's greatest prayer of praise. At Mass we are fed and nourished by God's work and the Body and Blood of Christ. A man discerning a vocation to the priesthood is encouraged to participate in the daily celebration of Mass so that he can grow in his relationship with the Lord.

discernment.jpgAdoration of the Blessed Sacrament is also very beneficial to a man discerning a vocation. This is a powerful way to grow in love for the Eucharistic Lord and to grow in the spiritual life.

Daily Prayer is time set aside for God alone, usually in a quiet place at a specific time each day. This prayer time can consist of talking to the Lord in one's own words or praying with the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospels. Developing the daily habit and pattern of prayer will help the man to hear more clearly the call of the Lord.

Spiritual direction is also very important when discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Speaking with a priest about one's prayer life and seeking his advice on a regular basis is very helpful as one discerns a vocation to the priesthood.

Discernment programs like a weekend retreat at the seminary, vocation evenings of recollection, or by joining a discussion group of other young men discerning a vocation are invaluable in helping one to come to greater clarity of God's call to the priesthood.

Get involved in some form of service with the Church. For example; outreach to the poor, teaching religious education, lecture, taking Holy Communion to the sick, working with the youth of the parish, etc. are ways to give one a taste of "ministry" and can also increase one's desire for ministry and service.

Devotion to the Blessed Mother. Praying the rosary daily and seeking the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is recommended when a man is discerning a vocation to the priesthood. The Blessed Mother had to respond to her vocation. She is most helpful in helping others obtain the grace to do the same. Talk to a Vocation Director to obtain further information about seminary and priestly life. The Vocation Director can also help one's discernment through regular meetings so as to discern with the young man the authenticity of his call.