New Year, New Discernment?
Updated: Jan 16
by Jenna Legg
Did you discern your resolution?
Did you spend time weighing options, considering what God might want from you and for you. God works for our good, but many times we get in the way of our own good. I think our resolutions can help us clear out the unnecessary things in our life so that we are working alongside of God for our own good.
But discernment isn't like a resolution -- in discernment, we don't necessarily have the outcome in mind when we begin. Discernment is being open to whatever outcome presents itself. But there are practices (maybe your new resolution?) that can help our discernment. Perhaps adding one or more of these things can help you discern this year.
Daily Prayer Time - This might seem obvious for someone who is taking the time to read this blog. But perhaps you need to rejuvenate your prayer. Consider adding some different types of prayer into your routine or simply creating a routine in general. I've recently downloaded the Hallow App. It's a simple way to pray with a daily rosary, daily meditation, daily readings, saint of the day & more. You can create morning or evening routines and even get reminders. Again, consider changing up your routine. If you regularly read scripture, perhaps reflect with the Saint of the day and ask for their wisdom. If you are fond of the rosary, perhaps attending daily Mass or reflecting on the daily readings might add some insight to your day.
Daily Quiet time - Similarly, adding quiet time is necessary. Use this time to listen. Quiet your mind and if you find yourself having an inner monologue, take a deep breath and start over. Start small by taking a minute or two to listen. As you build up your skill, you'll find you can spend more and more time listening. While I encourage you to be still and set aside time for this, it can easily be done while driving, before falling asleep at night or even as you get ready in the morning. But be intentional! Often times, I say out loud, "Okay, God. I'm listening!"
Frequent Faith Community Time - This can look like many things, but it's important to be around others who share our values and desires. I often advise frequent participation in the sacraments, but for many I know that Sunday Mass doesn't "feel" like community. You might find yourself the only young adult at Mass or at least the only single young adult. So perhaps it's time to join a Bible Study, or even a social group with your Church. Many areas have Young Catholic Professional groups or offerings of Theology on Tap. These are great ways to meet like-minded people who can encourage you and support your faith. Whether you talk about your discernment with them or not, it doesn't matter. God often uses the people around us to speak to us.
Regardless of what you want to try to accomplish or be this new year, it's a great time to readjust and evaluate. Even if you've already created your resolutions, consider how they will impact your faith life! It takes about two weeks to develop a daily habit, so how are you doing? What's your next step?