In teaching that the spiritual director must be discreet, St John of the Cross, situates himself soundly within the long Christian tradition of diakrisis, discretio, prudentia, and discretion. Discretion for him is reality which may be both supernatural gift from the Lord and a naturally developed virtue. John sees the discreet person as a clear thinking and perspiacious. There is a balance in his judgements founded on solid diagnostic skills. The discreet man can appriase the state of a soul and penetrate motivation to the core. Aware of the nature of humanity, he is cautious in affirming the hand of God in prayer and looks for clear signs of confirmation in the life of a person he is called by his task to evaluate.