“We have often had this experience: choosing something that seemed good to us and yet was not. Or knowing what our true good was and not choosing it.”
The pope explained that humans, unlike animals, can be unwilling to make the right choices.
“The Bible shows this from its very first pages,” he said. “God gives man a precise instruction: if you want to live, if you want to enjoy life, remember that you are a creature, that you are not the criterion of good and evil, and that the choices you make will have a consequence, for you, for others and for the world (cf. Genesis 2:16–17); you can make the earth a magnificent garden or you can make it a desert of death.”
Pope Francis underlined that discernment is “indispensable for living.” He said that it requires both self-knowledge and a filial relationship with God.
“Discernment is an important act that concerns everyone, because choices are an essential part of life. Discerning choices. One chooses food, clothing, a course of study, a job, a relationship. In all of these, a life project is realized, and so is our relationship with God.”
The pope noted that “great choices can arise from circumstances that at first sight seem secondary, but turn out to be decisive.”