The process of discernment is oriented towards the life that God created you for—a life of holiness, and authentic happiness! In this episode, hear from joyful missionary disciples whose lives have been marked and changed forever through a process of discernment, and allow their witnesses to inspire you and the way you live according to God’s mission for your life.
(00:00) Discernment helps us grow in faith, hope, and love. Learn how the process of discernment in itself can help one grow in holiness.
(01:31) We hear from Open Door Policy guest, Marek Dziekonski and his process of discernment, during which he prayed the difficult prayer, “not my will, but your will be done.” He goes on to describe going on a long-term mission, the challenge of discerning that opportunity, and the way a wise person’s words helped him identify the Holy Spirit working in his life and discern.
(06:50) With Marek’s reflections in mind, we return to the thoughts of previous guest, Deacon Chris Beltowski who shares how encountering Jesus is critical to authentic discernment.
(08:23) Deacon Chris describes the feeling of wanting to be better early on in his marriage, and striving after virtue and holiness. He shares an experience of encountering Jesus through Theology of the Body and being transformed by that experience. It was then that his heart began to stir and seek to discern where God was calling him to serve, eventually leading him to the diaconate.
(10:53) We note the way Deacon Chris met with a deacon to ask questions before taking any formal steps towards the diaconate, as a healthy, necessary part of discernment and highlight how detachment can be a good thing. We recall how Fr. Jake VanAssche offers a helpful perspective of “trying on a vocation.”
(11:47) Fr. Jake remembers an experience of serving as an altar server at the young age of 7 or 8 and recounts how this began to plant seeds for his discernment of the priesthood. He goes on to describe how these seeds didn’t quite grow, but how God worked on his heart, over time.
(23:01) We challenge the common fear of being unhappy or unfulfilled in discernment by revisiting Michelle Piccolo’s testimony of discernment, who shares her experience of seeking God’s peace as a way to discern her mission and vocation as a consecrated virgin. She highlights the importance of seeking out information about what she was discerning.
(32:25) We revisit Bishop Hanchon’s reflections, during which he shares how a medical complication aided him during his discernment of the priesthood, along with the importance of spending time before the Blessed Sacrament throughout the process of discernment. Through this process he began to understand how his vocation was a response to God’s desire for his life.
(35:59 – 37:27) We conclude by noting that the journey of discernment isn’t always easy, but is ultimately a pursuit of the true happiness God has created us for.