*Below is a guest post from my friend, 'Lady Virtue'! She has agreed to write monthly on a select virtue for The Catholic Lady.*
To discern is to see clearly; to distinguish; to recognize, to discriminate. True discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit involving both prudence and wisdom. It often involves action on our part- a weighing of both sides to find the truth. Just as a law enforcement officer compares a counterfeit bill with the real thing to determine its authenticity, so too, does one who is discerning something pray about it, read Scripture on the topic, look to the Tradition of the Faith and a trusted Spiritual Director to help him discern the truth from falsehood.
The gift of discernment is based on the truth; therefore it follows that one who discerns must be well acquainted with the truth to be able to recognize the lie. True discernment has depth, a feeling deep within the soul that something is right or not right. A gourmet wine taster slowly savors the flavor, texture and feel of a new wine to rate its quality. The discerning one reflects, prays, and seeks advice from godly people to determine the truth in a given situation.
True discernment is based on humility while false discernment is based on pride. True discernment comes about slowly upon reflecting, seeking and praying. False discernment is based on one's opinions, often made in haste without going deeper into the matter to seek out the truth.
True discernment is a gift we can ask the Holy Spirit to give us and help us cultivate in our souls. It helps keep our souls on the right course so we may one day attain our heavenly goal. Let us this month be truly discerning as we think about, read or listen to other's opinions.
"Ask, and it will be given you; seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Matt.7:7