"Decision making is not always a crisis but is always a growth-filled process."
That's how a short article about discernment describes decision making. Although the term "discernment" is relatively new to me, it seems straightforward enough:
1. "The first is the awareness that an important decision needs to be made. It’s essential to be alert to the prompting of the Spirit"Sounds easy? I don't have experience with this being an easy process... :p
2. "[make] a mental list or jot down the pros and cons of the various options"
3. "possible consequences for each option"
4. "check it out with a mentor, family member, trusted friend, or 'wisdom' friend who has gone through a similar life experience."
5. "taking action!"
Finally, when the decision is made and acted upon, a sense of true peace will prevail over you. Peace is the ultimate gift of a good decision - a peace no one can take from you.
While browsing the Pontificator's blog, I found an article by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (a former Lutheran convert to the Catholic Faith), on why The Church "will never invoke her full authority to require anyone to believe what is false". He wrote about why he does not fear the Church to misuse her authority and use her claim to infallibility to deliberately mislead and teach fallibly. I quote,
To be obsessed with what ifs is to remain captive to fear. The apostle John tells us that "perfect love casts out fear." One finally makes a decision based either on fear and suspicion or on love and trust. It is true that by taking the first way one may avoid a great error; but, if the decision is wrong, one has suffered the loss of an immeasurably greater good. With respect to the big decisions of life, we each choose our own form of risk…I can't believe my eyes when I saw this (well.. I should have known better; in Him anything is possible!); this is a key insight in my own process of discernment... I have been thinking and praying (and getting needlessly frustrated), but this differentiation of the source of a decision (fear vs. trust) has so far been buried in my list of pros and cons.
As we open up ourselves to joy and transformation in this Lenten season, I ask anyone who's reading this to please pray for me so that God's will be revealed, be mine, and be done. Thanks.