General Discernment Resources

These resources offer tools to help you gain the freedom of heart that you need in order to hear God’s voice more clearly in every area of your life.

PODCAST: NET Podcast on Discernment: “Fear Not”  

VIDEO: “4 Helpful Rules for Discernment,” by Fr. Mike Schmitz

BOOKS: Recommended Reading (Click to Show List)

We recommend following the list in order. You do not have to read all of them, but Fr. Jacques Philippe’s books are a good starting point

1. In the School of the Holy Spirit, by Fr. Jacques Philippe
2. Interior Freedom, by Fr. Jacques Philippe 
3. What Does God Want? A Practical Guide to Making Decisions, by Fr. Michael Scanlan, T.O.R.
4. Pray, Decide, and Don’t Worry: Five Steps to Discerning God’s Will, by Bobby & Jackie Angel, with Fr. Mike Schmitz 
5. The Examen Prayer: Ignatian Wisdom for Our Lives Today, by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV
6. Discerning the Will of God: An Ignatian Guide to Christian Decision Making, by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV  
7. The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living, by Fr. Timothy Gallagher, OMV 

BOOKS: Discerning Consecrated Life & Priesthood (Click to Show List)

The following books focus specifically on discerning the consecrated life or the priesthood. 

For both Men and Women: 
And You are Christ’s: The Charism of Virginity and the Celibate Life, by Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M. 
For Women:
Discerning Religious Life, by Mother Clare Matthias, C.F.R. 
For Men:
A Living Sacrifice: Guidance for Men Discerning Religious Life, by Fr. Benedict Croell, O.P. and Fr. Andrew Hofer, O.P. 


To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide to Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood, by Fr. Brett A. Brannen 

College-bound? Check out the Newman Guide

While you do not necessarily have to get a college degree to enter the religious life or a seminary, many orders strongly encourage this, and some require it. This is because college can provide many opportunities for personal growth and life experience.  

If you are planning to go to college, it is a good idea to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the place He wants to use to form you during your college years. The Newman guide is a resource which may help you in this decision. It provides a list of Catholic colleges which are committed to offering a faithful Catholic education. You may also find it helpful to apply some of the principles of discernment in the resources above as you make decisions about attending a college.