DISCERNMENT: The second element of discernment addressed by Sister Clare Wagner, OP, in “Make a difference! A guide for life choice,” (National Religious Vocation Conference, 1995) is “listening to your heart.” That is where God speaks. That is where truth lies. Your heart holds “your decision about your life choices.”
To hear that voice, to get in touch with your truth, you need to spend time alone with yourself in solitude. No cell phones to disturb the quiet. No TV’s noise penetrating your space. And no computer luring you into its nets.
Entering that solitude may be very difficult. As soon as we attempt this, a multitude of thoughts flood our minds, distractions are likely to bombard us. Treat those thoughts as passing clouds. Do not engage them or, if you do and become aware of doing so, then quietly, without judgment, come back to the solitude, using a word that brings you back to the quiet. That word might be a word from Catholic Tradition, such as “Lord,” “Stillness,” “Jesus,” “Love,” “Peace,” or a phrase from Scripture, such as “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46), “In quiet and in trust your strength lies” (Is. 30:15) or “By waiting and by calm, you shall be saved” (Is. 30: 15) or one of our favorite passages.
Then listen! Be still! Begin this practice for 5 minutes a day and increase this up to 10, 15, 20 minutes a day.
Tomorrow, we will look at questions you might ask yourself following the 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes of quiet.