Escorial (Portugal). On 13 February  2021, the Temporary Professed meeting of the Province of Our Lady of Fatima (POR) took place online on the theme: “Discernment with an attitude of life”.

The meeting was presided by Sr. Dores Rodrigues, Councilor for Formation, with the presence of the Provincial, Sr. Rosa Cândida Gomes Correia da Lage. The day, which began with a moment of introductory prayer, alternated between Lectio Divina and insights on the theme,  also in a charismatic key,  with times of meditation, personal prayer, and sharing.

Sr. Diana Arrobas Patrìcio, Temporary Professed of Blessed Sacrament Community of Viana do Castelo, recounts her experience:

“It was a very rich and formative day of sharing life, of prayer, of interruption of the daily routine, of reflection together on essential themes for our Christian life and as Salesian consecrated women.

We began by reflecting on the importance of assuming discernment as a lifestyle, as a way of being in the world. How important it is, always and in everything, to seek the will of God, to be attentive to the Holy Spirit who wants to lead us on new paths that we do not know and sometimes avoid. The need for familiarity with Jesus, the importance of being in Him, of having Him as the center of our life, was underlined as one of the fundamental conditions for discernment.

Sister Dores offered us a Lectio Divina on a passage from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Rom 12: 2/9:11-12): “Do not conform to the mentality of this world”. Indeed, discernment helps us to make God’s preferences our preferences, not to let ourselves be carried away by the fashions of the world. We also had the opportunity to confront ourselves with the experience of discernment lived by Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, noting the importance that is given to this attitude in our Constitutions.

Discernment is a demanding and long journey, an attitude that lasts a lifetime and that should be part of our daily routine and not only in moments of important decisions. Discernment is in some way tangible and not abstract: in the truth of our personal discernment, in the search for God and His will, our attitudes are evaluated. They also occur in the coherence of our life, in the authenticity of the attention we pay to others. From morning to evening discernment is at stake, which truly touches our life, which seeks to be part of our habits.

I conclude by sharing a phrase taken from the formative texts of this day: “To the extent that we assume discernment as a permanent attitude, we will be light in the community and in the mission, God’s grace will make us see further and will make us witnesses of His Love.”


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