To begin to discern differences in one’s life a person must be attentive to what lies within, to what brings and supports peace and tranquility [stability of heart] or what produces and reinforces confusing, destructive behavior. This attentiveness means concretely taking time to listen to one’s inner life.

It presumes a discipline of being in or creating a quiet environment in which a person can begin to recognize what is happening internally. It presupposes that while any discernment process might necessarily include dialogue with others, it must include, above all, a dialogue with oneself-in relationship with God.

Silence and solitude can provide this conversation. Such attentive listening can lead to less illusions and self-delusions (signs of the devil according to St. Anthony of the Desert). It can also lead to greater knowledge of one’s true self, a self more grounded in truth, more capable of living in reality.

Edward Sellner, Finding the Monk Within