How to Discern Anything

Episode Nine

You decide things all the time, but do you know how to discern?

Sister Elyse Marie Ramirez shares insights about discernment she’s learned through decades of her own journey and through accompanying others.


Sister Elyse Marie is a life-long learner, teacher, and spiritual guide. She has taught people from childhood to adulthood and has given much of her life of service to accompanying women and men who are in the process of becoming consecrated religious. A Dominican Sister of Springfield based at her community’s motherhouse in Springfield, Ill., she currently teaches a course in contemporary issues in religious life for women and men.



  • L.I.S.T.E.N. – look at the facts, imagine the possibilities, seek insight beyond your own, turn inward, expect God’s help; name the decision and act on it.
  • When there is a decision between two goods, there is a need for discernment.
  • Our choices often impact other people
  • Christian discernment invites God into the process


Book recommendations from Sister Elyse

Inviting a Monkey to Tea: Befriending Your Mind and Discovering Lasting Contentment. Nancy Colier. Hohm Press. 2012

Tuning Into God’s Call. Andrew Carl Wisdom, OP, and Christine Kiley, ASCJ Liguori 2012

Discernment: The Art of Choosing Well. Pierre Wolff, Liguori 1993, 2003

Catholics on Call Discerning a Life of Service in the Church. Robin Ryan CP, editor Liturgical Press 2010



Discernment resources from St. Mary’s Press

The L.I.S.T.E.N. method explained (pdf)

Making Discernment a way of Life (pdf)

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