The second phase of discernment is to live constantly in God. The special ability that enables us to easily recognize and respond to the divine movements of God is the development within our interior of a spiritual sense. This spiritual sense is almost nonexistent at the beginning of our life; however, a person can refine this sense with experience by resolutely and faithfully following the path of Jesus Christ. This grace-filled gift allows us to recognize the unmistakable voice of Jesus. It is a loving instinct that permits us to distinguish the voice of the Spouse more easily in concert with all the sounds that present themselves to our hearing.
The Holy Spirit speaks to us with a tone of voice, a timbre that is indeed its own. This voice has a sweetness, strength, purity and a particular clarity that, when we have attuned ourselves, we know how to recognize it virtually without fail.
The devil knows that he cannot conquer a person who has grown in a relationship with God through means which are obviously evil; however, the devil can sometimes imitate the voice of the Spouse. If we continue this path of faithfulness, thanks to a loving familiarity and a pure and constant search for the divine will, we will easily distinguish the devil’s voice that, in a certain sense, will sound out of tune and, therefore, not the voice of Jesus.
Jesus in the Gospel of John promised that this spiritual sense would gradually be given to us by the Holy Spirit. As the Good Shepherd Jesus says, “He walks ahead of them and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers” (Jn 10:4-5).
Next Issue — Live constantly in God — the deception of the evil one (part 2).