When you need to make a big decision, do you take time for discernment? Do you gather all the facts and weigh your options? It is important to make the time to discern the appropriate course of action when facing life-altering decisions. As a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinator, I see all too often, those wishing to become Catholic wanting to rush through the process. I get questions like, “What’s the big deal?” “Why do I have to wait?” Using RCIA as an example, let me explain why it is important to gather all the facts and weigh all options. My example could apply to anything occurring in your life as well.
Take Time for Discernment
A desire to embrace faith, when there has been none in your life, to date, is a big deal! Therefore, it is one, big, life-altering decision. When you embrace the Christian faith, you make a commitment to living a Christ-like life. Now, that can seem like a tall order to one who has been raised with no, or little, faith. First, the person needs to gather some facts, and get answers to some questions .
- What does it mean to live a Christ-like life?
- How does that way of life differ from my current experience?
- What changes would be required to live that Christ-like life, and am I willing to make such a change?
Getting the answers to these questions takes time and a depth of discernment within the soul.
When you decide that you want to become Catholic, but have been raised in another Christian faith, then that, too, requires some fact gathering and discernment. In the RCIA process we must address any misconceptions about the Catholic faith, as well as differences in beliefs. The participants also address the following questions:
- Am I willing to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church?
- Am I willing to commit to the Precepts of the Catholic faith?
As you can see, by my example, taking the time to discern such a life-altering decision is critical to making a wise decision.
What Do You Need to Discern?
Perhaps you want to change jobs or move to another city. Both examples are life-altering decisions. My guess is that you could come up with many more examples. Whatever life-altering decision you might face, always do your research and gather the facts. Get your questions answered. Then through prayer, working with the Holy Spirit, discern your path. Discernment will always serve you well, for it is the Holy Spirit who will guide you in the discernment process.
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