Sunday, 12 January 2020 10:37

Docility to the Holy Spirit

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In Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel, our Lord gives us the parable of the sower. In this parable —a parable of the Kingdom of God—seeds are sown in various places: on bird-filled paths, rocky ground, shallow soil, amidst thorns and thistles, and on fertile soil. Only the fertile soil offered proper ground for the seed to sprout and grow.

This parable describes the proper cultivation needed for the Word of God to take root in our souls. If we are to discern the movements and inspirations of God, we need to make sure that our souls are fertile and ready to receive God’s heavenly seed. This is what is meant by the word docility, derived from the Latin verb docere, meaning “to teach” and the origin of the word disciple.

The ground that is rocky or barren or bird-ridden are metaphors for the cares of the world and interests that are elsewhere other than the Kingdom of God. We need detachment from these cares in order to be docile.

Why be docile?

Docility is to have reverence and acceptance of God’s plan for our lives in order to experience fulfillment, true happiness and closeness to God. Remember, Satan and our fallen nature draw us away from God only through trickery. The devil cannot take grace, inspiration or a calling away from us by force. He can, however, deceive us into freely giving it away under the pretext of finding something better. He is a liar, and his promises are always empty.

If we find our lives have become empty and desolate, perhaps it is because we have allowed ourselves to be deceived. It is never too late to repent, renew and recommit ourselves to Jesus. The previous articles on penance and purification guide us on the path to repentance.

As we develop a habitual prayer life with growth in virtue, which implies rooting out our sinful tendencies, we will develop what holy writers call a “spiritual sense.”

Next Issue: Spiritual sense and acquiring docility.