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Discernment According to Pope Francis #5

Voc week Blog with Francis 5

 

It (discernment) is a gift which we must implore. If we ask with confidence that the Holy Spirit grant us this gift, and then seek to develop it through prayer, reflection, reading and good counsel, then surely we will grow in this spiritual endowment. # 166

As birthdays and Christmas approach, the practice of writing a list of gifts one hopes to receive is not altogether uncommon. Whether it is a new bike, the latest iPhone, shoes, computer games or a voucher to a favourite shop, I think it is true that gifts have a unique power to connect us with the giver through the joy and gratitude that wells up inside as the wrapping paper is cast aside and the new adventures with whatever the gift happens to be begin.

Perhaps the idea of asking God for gifts is also familiar, and in the snapshot today from Gaudium et Exsultate, we see that Pope Francis suggests that it is important to have discernment near the top of the list. It makes sense, and in many ways discernment is a gift like no other. In the first place, it will not wear out in time like a new bike or pair of shoes, and it will not be quickly replaced like an iPhone or computer game might when the next model comes along. Instead, discernment, a gift that most simply put enables us to journey with God and fall more in love with him, will only become more precious as life goes on.

As National Vocations Awareness week draws to a close then, I encourage you to (in the words of Pope Francis with a slight paraphrase!) implore the Lord for this gift and seek to develop it so that you might realise its ever growing value in personal and powerful ways.

Mel Edwards