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Pope Francis explains “art of discernment” in his General Audience

During his General Audience, the pope reflected on an episode from the Acts of the Apostles. He recalled how, “In the midst of the Sanhedrin, which feels threatened by the Apostolic preaching, a different voice is heard. The highly regarded doctor of the Law, Gamaliel, demonstrates the “art of discernment.” Filled with prophetic wisdom, he invites the leaders of the people not to give in to haste, but to wait for developments over time.” 

The pope said that this discernment is valuable for the Church, because “it invites us to be farsighted, to contemplate events and not to make hasty judgments. Discernment is an art that does not provide standardized solutions.”


Dear brothers and sisters:

In our catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles, we reflect on how St. Peter and the Apostles courageously respond when there were people who wanted to stop the spread of the Gospel. The Apostles claim the word of God cannot be silenced. In the midst of the Sanhedrin, who feels threatened by the Gospel, Gamaliel, the doctor of the Law, speaks out. 

Gamaliel invites leaders to not make hasty decisions, but wait for developments over time. This “art of discernment” provides farsighted and unstandardized solutions, and allows for contemplation.

Discernment is an exercise of spiritual intelligence, carried out by God's children who see the traces of the Father's presence throughout history. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us obtain the habit of discernment, to learn that time and the faces of our brothers and sisters are God's messengers.

I greet the English speakers who are partaking in today's Audience, particularly those from the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord on you and your families, and may God bless you!