the art of discernment
Right: The opening
ceremony of Vatican II in
St. Peter’s Basilica,1962.
In commemoration of
the 50th anniversary of
Vatican II, Pope Benedict
XVI has named the
year from Oct. 11, 2012
through the Feast of
Christ the King on Nov.
24, 2013 as the “Year of
Faith.” Now would be
a good time to read or
review the documents
of Vatican II available
in the Vatican’s online
Pilgrims here on earth
Lisez cet article en
français en ligne.
article in Spanish
or French online.
LL oF Us “without exception, both individually and in society, have a life-
long obligation to strive after heavenly values. . . . The traditional as well
as the contemporary Christian approach to life is to strive with all zeal for
evangelical perfection, and at the same time to contribute toward the mate-
rial good of humanity.”
Thus, Pope John xxiii set forth the demands of Christian discipleship in his
address at the opening of the second Vatican Council on oct. 11, 1962.
The universal call to holiness is a theme that threads its way through all of
the major documents produced by this historic gathering. As one of those documents,
Lumen Gentium, states: “All the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status are called
to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity. . . . in order that
the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they
have received it, as a gift from Christ. . . . They must devote themselves with all their
being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. in this way, the holiness of
the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good. . . .”
What is known in vocation circles as the “process of discernment” is simply
the time we “pilgrims here on earth” take to identify our strengths and gifts and deter-
mine how they may best be put to use in joyful service of the church and the world as
we “journey onwards towards our heavenly homeland” (opening Address, 1962).
Patrice J. Tuohy is executive editor of VISION Vocation Guide
and co-publisher of TrueQuest Communications.