Discerning the Holy Spirit’s Guidance

Category: Unleashed Tag: ,

How do you discern the Holy Spirit’s action, presence, voice, and will in your life? Through the patterns of your bad habits, toxic and other relationships, repeating circumstances, and overwhelming desires. Unleashed: How to Receive Everything the Holy Spirit wants to Give You, and a bunch of stuff I wasn’t able to include in there.

What gave rise to Mary’s act of going to visit her relative Elizabeth? A word of God’s Angel. “Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son…” (Lk 1:36). Mary knew how to listen to God. Be careful: it was not merely “hearing”, a superficial word, but it was “listening”, that consists of attention, acceptance and availability to God. It was not in the distracted way with which we sometimes face the Lord or others: we hear their words, but we do not really listen. Mary is attentive to God. She listens to God.

However Mary also listens to the events, that is, she interprets the events of her life, she is attentive to reality itself and does not stop on the surface but goes to the depths to grasp its meaning. Her kinswoman Elizabeth, who is already elderly, is expecting a child: this is the event. But Mary is attentive to the meaning. She can understand it: “with God nothing will be impossible” (Lk 1:37).

This is also true in our life: listening to God who speaks to us, and listening also to daily reality, paying attention to people, to events, because the Lord is at the door of our life and knocks in many ways, he puts signs on our path; he gives us the ability to see them. Mary is the mother of listening, of attentive listening to God and of equally attentive listening to the events of life” (Pope Francis).

God Speaks to My Behavior through His Word
Proverbs 26:11, “A dog returns to its vomit.”
John 8:31, “He who sins (habitual, ongoing sin) is a slave to sin.
Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.”
Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death…”
Wisdom 11:16, “A man is punished by the thing through which he sins.”

God Speaks to My Relationships through His Word
Matthew 7:1-5,  “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Every vice and every virtues comes to us by way of our neighbor (St. Catherine of Sienna).

Next week: God Speaks to My Circumstances and Desires through His Word