Sunday, 26 January 2020 12:15

Docility to the Holy Spirit Spiritual sense and acquiring docility

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Our faith has its own “sniffer.” It can sniff out good doctrine from bad doctrine when our hearts are attuned to prayer and flexible in the hands of God. This is the gift of “spiritual sense.” Faith is the infused gift we receive at baptism that enlightens our spiritual intellect. It is capable of illuminating the mind and heart with supernatural instinct and insight, but only when we are living in accord with the teachings of the church.

The Holy Spirit speaks in a voice that is gentle, still and small; made audible especially to us. If we allow ourselves to become accustomed to this voice, we can learn to hear and obey him. The Holy Spirit speaks to us according to our unique frequency, so that when we receive a message, it is encrypted only for us!

Jesus promised to send, “The Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” (Jn 16:13) This Spirit will “convict the world in regard to sin,” and help the followers of Christ to recall all that he has instructed by keeping it alive in our hearts and in the community of faith. This is what the church means by the term Sacred Tradition. (See Jn 16:8 and 14:26 respectively) Living in this Sacred Tradition prepares us to hear the voice of God and develop our spiritual sense.

In the book of Exodus, Moses and the Israelites are led through the desert by a column of cloud during the day and a column of fire by night. (cf. Ex 13:21, 22) God’s people followed the cloud and fire. They were led through the barren and dangerous wasteland and yet were always safe provided they obeyed. The Israelites never separated themselves from the column of cloud or the column of fire that led to the promised land. This is how we must act with the Holy Spirit.

We have shared many insights on how to be docile in God’s hands. We have emphasized the necessity of daily meditation, followed by a resolution, frequent reception of sacramental grace and growth in virtue. Additional means include:

• Obeying God’s commands. Many of God’s commands are contained in the moral and doctrinal precepts of the church. If the church teaches these commands as part of our faith, we need to accept them with ready hearts and not look for loopholes. This exposes a lack of love in us and the belief that the church is merely about rules. This lack of love can reduce any relationship to rules. When filled with love, rules cease to be rules and become the means to flourish.

• Frequently, renew our desire to follow God’s will for our lives and strive to continually strengthen this resolution.

• Unceasingly ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and enlightenment.

• Trust God, surrender and abandon all to him.

Next Issue — The deepest secret to docility.