The phrase "discernment of spirits" refers to what St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, calls "the motions of the soul." These motions are felt by all of us - thoughts, images, feelings, desires, and repulsions that flow through us and shape who we are.
Not many of us are skilled in determining what all of these motions indicate - or whether they indicate anything! And even if we are skilled at discernment, we can become better attuned to these movements of our soul so that we can reflect on what God is saying to us and respond accordingly.
A great place to begin is by reading or re-reading The Discernment of Spirits: An Ignatian Guide for Everyday Living by Fr. Timothy Gallagher. Then ask yourself a few questions:
- How can I put Ignatius' rules for discernment into practice in my own life?
- Do I act on these spiritual principles?
- How can I improve?
You may find that you are excellent at this style of prayer and reflection. Or you may find that more work needs to be done. What's great about this way of discernment is that it's not another program, but it equips one to make their own decisions about how God is calling them to live out lives of faith, hope, and love, and to act accordingly.
Edited Source: Catholic Social Media