7 Stages of Discernment - The Seventh Stage
These 7 Stages of Discernment are taken and modified for discerning religious life from the book To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett A. Brannen.
Stage 7: Moral Certitude
Stage 7 is not really a stage of discernment so much as an end to discernment. It begins, at the very latest, when a woman makes her first, temporary profession of vows as a religious and enters the juniorate. This woman is no longer asking God if she should become a nun; rather, she has achieved moral certitude that this is God’s will for her. She is not absolutely certain, because that is not possible, but she has received every indication that this is the path she should walk. She might still be praying that God will stop her if He does not want her to profess perpetual vows, but she says, “Lord, unless you send me a clear sign that you want me to stop, I will keep moving forward.”
A woman in stage 7 is asking God to help her become a good, holy nun. She does not have many fears left, but is confident, through the grace of Jesus Christ and her extensive (and ongoing) formation, that she can be a faithful consecrated religious. The primary emotion associated with stage 7 is deep joy.