Monday, October 4, 2010

Discerning Vocations

Last Saturday morning I became an expert on why we should not be using the words discern and discernment when referring to reflections and actions taken in pursuit of what God is calling us to do, particularly with respect to religious vocations.

Discern, in my Webster's New International Dictionary (Unabridged - 1921) means the following: 1. To discriminate or set apart, as in discrimination; 2. To see and identify by noting a difference or differences; to note the distinctive character of; to discriminate; to distinguish; 3. To see by the eye or by the understanding; to perceive and recognize; to distinguish, as, to discern a difference. Synonyms for discern: distinguish, discover, discriminate, espy, descry, detect. See PERCEIVE

Discernment; 1. Act of discerning; 2. Power or faculty of the mind by which it distinguishes one thing from another; power of discerning differences in objects, and their relations and tendencies; penetrative and discriminative mental vision; acuteness; sagacity; insight; as, the errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment

Well, now, did anybody think that discern or discernment are good words to use when considering a possible religious vocation?

Persevere in my WNID means: 1. to persist in any business or enterprise undertaken; to pursue steadily anny project or course begun; to maintain a purpose in spite of counter influence, opposition or discouragement; 2. To continue in a state of grace; 3. To remain in a place or position.

Perseverance, similarly, means: 1. Act of persevering; persistence in anything undertaken; continued pursuit or prosecution of any business or enterprise begun; 2. continuance in a state of grace until it is succeeded by a state of glory.

Does anybody have any objections to banning the use of discern and discernment with respect to religious vocations?

Did anybody see that 10 10 climate change video? Well, I have a copy and I'll use those methods on objectors to the change.

1 comment:

Adoro said...

Huge objection to "banning the word discern in relation to Vocations": You are using a secular source for your definitions.

To do that is to divorce the Catholic use of the word "discernment" to the ways in which it is theologically applied within the Church.

Theology 101: If you're going to look for definitions, make sure you're using theological sources if you are speaking of theological topics.

So...try again, and this time look to good, solid, Catholic sources!