In the past issues we have looked at the first of two phases of discernment: to recognize God as the center of my life.
What type of thoughts or feelings direct me most toward God? What type of thoughts or feelings enclose me in my own world where I choose only my will?
If an inspiration truly comes from God and we follow it with all our heart, we will be inundated with peace. The Holy Spirit cannot not give this peace to a person who follows this inspiration from God. At times, this peace can reside only in the most delicate point of our soul. This peace is felt and recognizable even when on the human and psychological level questions and worries remain.
If, instead, an inspiration comes from the devil who instills selfish desires for our ambitions, egoism and exaggerated needs to be recognized, our heart will never find a total and profound peace. This superficial peace will soon disappear, leaving in its place a disorder. We can suppress this disorder in the depths of our conscience, but it is always there, ready to reemerge when the hour of truth comes.
We can draw an important conclusion: A divine inspiration can disturb us at first, but if we do not refuse it and open ourselves, accepting it little by little, eventually our hearts will be filled with that special peace that comes only from the Holy Spirit. It is a fundamental law that is valid in normal situations of the spiritual life for those who are sincerely disposed to do the will of God. The spiritual life and the interaction between the spiritual and the psychological are complex realities. We may find ourselves in moments of trial which makes this practical application difficult. However, this process remains fundamental and we find it repeatedly in all church tradition.
Discernment is complete when we allow ourselves into God’s loving embrace. Our heart pours forth a sincere prayer and desire: Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, do with me as you will. Abbà Father! It is liberating and at the same time overwhelming to feel God has history in his hands. He wants to work in us but remain free to act as God and to insert into history something impossible for man. In this history of salvation, discernment is spiritual action born from the contemplation of Jesus Christ in our lives and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Next Issue — Second phase of discernment — live constantly in God.