Daily Step – I love these three discernment questions.


“What brings you joy?

What are you really good at?

What do the people around you really need?”

A friend of mine, Fr. Quang Tran, SJ posted these three questions the other day. He said they were Fr Michael Himes’ (a professor at Boston College who died a couple days ago) three questions for discernment.

I have not stopped looking at them ever since. 

What a great three questions!

But also so VERY challenging to answer.

I think I have answers, but then when I try and sit down and place them concisely on paper… then it gets a bit more challenging.

There is one I think is particularly hard to answer – “What are you really good at?” 

I mean, I think I know. I think I know the gifts and talents God has given me… but to own them enough to give them in answer to this question? 

Wow, that’s hard. 

Anyone else think that’s hard?

The thing I love most about these questions is that they are so Ignatian. One of the things that first drew me to Ignatian Spirituality and Ignatian Discernment in particular is that it honors our deepest desires.

Ignatian Discernment taught me that God wants what we want deep down inside. 

After all, those things that bring us joy, those things we are REALLY good at… they were a part of God’s intentional and purposeful creation of us.

And, of course, those things that bring us joy, those things that we are REALLY good at are meant to ultimately be placed in service of others. 

I love how the last question asks us to discern what’s really needed. It reminds me that my joy and my gifts are best used in service of others in a way that honors their dignity and empowers them to find their own joy and their gifts. My gifts are best used if they are serving real needs not ones I’ve created.

How would you answer these questions?

How could they change your life.

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