A little on Discerning The Will of God

Posted: October 10, 2015 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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How do we recognise the voice of a family member, friend or spouse over the other end of the phone? How do we know for sure it is them and not someone pretending to sound like them? Well it comes from the deep personal relationship we have developed with them over the years.  We embrace in their voice every intonation, syllable, style, thought presented and content.  And so  it is with listening to the voice of God our Father. It is through the oneness with Him that we hear His voice clearly.

That being said how do we start? What must we do?

Well let us begin first by asking what is God our Father’s Will, not just for me or some of us but for all of us? 

We are created in His image, to know, love, worship and serve Him.

By our baptism we are all called to be Saints, that is we are called to Holiness.  As Jesus says in sacred scripture, be Holy as Your Heavenly Father is Holy.  He desires that all of us will one day be with Him in paradise.  So now that we have established our end goal, which is to be with our Father in Heaven.  We can now begin to explore what our Father’s Will is for us individually.

He knew us even before we were formed in our mother’s womb which means He knows all our strengths and our weaknesses, our gifts and personalities. We are called to serve in our uniqueness, there is no need to be whom we are not. For instance if I have a strong character and personality then I will serve in that capacity but bearing in mind that I serve Him and my brethren with the noble humility of a servant.  Everyone is called to serve in one way or another. 

When the young man asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him that he should observe the commandments and more than that to let go of earthly attachments and follow Him.  Jesus teaches and shows us the way, that there is no communion without sacrifice.  We must give our all! And so when we partake of the sacrifice in the Eucharist we receive the grace not to live for ourselves but for others.  Those who partake for themselves neither grow or are transformed. 

In His new commandment to us in the Gospel according to John, Jesus tells us to love one another as He loved us.  And how did He love us? He loved us so much He laid down His life for us.  God’s love is such that it Wills the good in us. And so if we are to love one another the same way He does, then our love too must be to will the good in others.  As St Paul says. we are to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. And so our loving sacrifice of service to all, must be centred on our Lord Jesus Christ who is the source of our love and life.

The greatest obstacle to listening to God’s will for us and His voice is sin.  Sin allows for the voices of the world and our egos to overpower our ability to hear Him. Hence it is important for us to go regularly for the Sacrament of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist in order to receive the necessary Graces to walk in His light.  Although we must be alert and aware of the evil that surrounds us.  We take comfort in the fact that as children living in the light, sin and evil has no hold over us.

In order to hear His voice clearly we must deepen our relationship by falling in love with our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.  For Christ did say my sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.  To do this we need to set aside quality time to read the Word of God found in the Bible.  It is Jesus the living Word we seek and will surely find in the pages come to life.  Also prayer time is of utmost importance for it is through prayer we unite ourselves to Him.  Like mary we sit at His feet listening eagerly to what He has to say to us. And like the woman seated with Jesus at the well we are offered living water to drink.  Our contemplative prayer life is how we unite our wills to that of our Lord and God.

And so my sisters and brothers in Christ, as we move forward towards our journey home.  We have Holy Mother church and the Holy Spirit to guide us on our way.  We have our Blessed Mother and all the Saints interceeding for us.  St Paul encourages us not to quench the spirit, to hold fast to all that is good and test everything.  Let us help and encourage one another then to remain steadfast in faith and love.  To always turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels. So that we too might be crucified in Christ, so that we no longer live but Christ who lives in us. Amen

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In the early stages of discernment it is advisable to have a Spiritual Director.  A priest, religious or an elder in the Church you can turn to for advice.
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