1)   30 minutes of daily prayer

Growth in prayer is the single most important step in discernment.  If we have been given the desire to offer everything to God, it is in the habit of prayer that we will most clearly recognize it.  Real progress can only be experienced if we commit to prayer every day.  A good place to start is meditating on the Gospels for 30 minutes, or praying the rosary.

2)   Holy Hour weekly

On a frequent basis, a little extra time for prayer is important.  Gratuity helps engender a special openness and gives the Lord more time to work in our hearts.  Offering a Holy Hour once a week complements our practice of daily prayer.

3)   Daily Mass

The Eucharist is the source and summit or our Catholic Faith; for discernment, daily reception of Holy Communion is ideal.  However, even attending mass once or twice over the Sunday obligation can be a great help.  And, of course, it is far better to attend less with more attentiveness and devotion than frequently from a habit of routine or legalism.

4)   Morning offering and nightly examination of conscience

The spiritual life is lived one day at a time; each day offers its own blessings and its own challenges.  We need to begin each day, making a sincere offering of all our experiences.  And at the end of the day, we can look back and understand how we have been faithful, where Christ has met us; we can also assess where we have been selfish and rejected grace.  The nightly examination of conscience should not only reconcile us to our Creator, it should help us understand who we are and how God works in our daily life.

5)   Spiritual Direction

The church has a tradition of providing specific guidance and support for growth in the spiritual life.  Spiritual direction is an extremely helpful resource if it is available to you. A spiritual directors wisdom and practical experience can be valuable for guidance and it is always beneficial to bring our reflection into the light.  The gaze of another can help us test our own insight. Even if a spiritual director is not available to you, regular conversation with any supportive family member, friend, or spiritual mentor is important.