Discernment Checklist

When discerning any major decision, contemplative prayer is imperative. When discerning your vocation, reading discernment guides and reflections before turning to that contemplative prayer can assist that time spent with the Lord. And for those wanting extra structure, those feeling lost in their discernment process, those wanting to make sure they’ve reflected upon it all… a checklist can be a useful tool.

This list of questions can prompt your contemplative prayer time or be questions discussed with a spiritual director. Either way, having answers to these questions can aid the discernment process.

Availability and Openness

  • Am I open-hearted to whatever God is calling me?
  • Am I disposed and free to respond to that call?
  • Am I willing to let go of my own bias and preconceived plans?
  • Am I willing to give up control and accept a “yes” or a “no”?


  • Do I sense a degree of potential satisfaction, hope, or joy when I consider religious life?
  • If it is God’s will, do I trust that it can be fulfilled?

Proper Motivation

  • Is my primary motivation a spiritual one; i.e., to serve and love God and God’s people?
  • Would I experience adequate happiness and fulfillment?

General Disposition

    • Do I have good health, emotional stability, social ease, and spiritual-centeredness?


  • Am I able to and have I gone through a process of reflection, prayer, dialogue, and Scripture?


Vincentian Discernment:

  • Is the Lord Jesus asking me to serve Him through the poor in the way of St. Vincent?
  • Can I give myself to love of God and serving neighbor, especially those most in need?
  • Am I person who wishes to live and work in Community for a common Mission?
  • Do I seek to know the Lord more deeply as did St. Vincent through the times spent in prayer, with Scripture, the Eucharist, and finding opportunities to serve the poor?

When you’ve made a decision:

  • Is the decision reasonably clear?
  • Am I at peace with this decision?
  • Is the decision just and compassionate?