Monday, April 14, 2008

Discernment and the Holy Spirit

It's amazing how the Holy Spirit works isn't it? I've been struggling for the longest time in what direction I want to go in my career. In addition to this my courtship of a friend has been weighing heavy on my mind. For the past three years in Houston I have resisted taking offers to work in other cities and I have put courting aside for even longer until recently. I was worried about these two pressing issues. I've come to a point after Easter realizing that I have been trying to attain the perfect balance in life and have hardly come any closer to my goal since when I began. And by balance I mean having the right job and courting the right girl. The only variable that has changed has been the exponential growth in my faith in God. Without noticing it until now, my anxieties have decreased as my faith increased. Certainly a lot of prayer, reception of the Eucharist, and frequent confession has transformed my interior life from one of directionless babble to peace (or something close to it). Taking on a Spiritual Advisor is still relatively new for me (almost three years running) and his simple advice to me when I disposed of my career and courtship issues to him was to pray to the Holy Spirit for discernment. I did just that and within the week of praying for discernment to the Holy Spirit I was able to come to two important decisions in my life. They weren't easy decisions, but the Holy Spirit somehow brought certain events to come together that allowed for me to make them without hesitation. I accepted a permanent job here in Houston, thus resolving and ending my contracting career of three years. That seemed to me the easier of the two decision, wanting relative security over money to be able to remain here in Houston. The other decision concerning a beautiful, happy, and pious lady I have been courting came to an amicable end. I prayed to the Holy Spirit and in one fateful week my life plotted its course for the near (and probably forseeable) future. This brings to mind two verses from the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew (6:25-26).
[25] "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
"Are you not of more value than they?" Of course we are. I have come one step closer to letting go more of my anxieties in life and trusting Him even more. But what does this have to do with discernment? I think it means do what you can do and leave everything to God. Pray that you are following His will and all will be for the better. Basically trust Him that knows best for you. I think I have found a new devotion to the Holy Spirit.

4 comments:

My experience is that listening to the voice of God is hard. Rewarding, but hard. Congratulations and good luck with that!

My reading of the lives of saints doesn't give me the impression that God places "perfect balance" in your life as a very high priority, either.

Tito said...

Paul,

I couldn't agree more.

It wasn't that I heard God tell me what to do, making the decisions just happened naturally.

The Holy Spirit seemed to have guided me so to speak (my best guess).

"Perfect balance" was the best way to describe what I was trying to achieve. Maybe 'normal' would have been just as appropriate.

Nonetheless, following the will of God is what I try to do and hope that I am doing at the moment.

Karen said...

Hey Tito, hope you're having a very blessed Pascha season.

I understand what you're describing here, and can identify. I too have been looking for my life to "begin", so to speak-- to have the right job, my own little place, and be debt-free. I feel like I've been sort of flopping around wasting time, and now in my early 30's, it's time for me to actually stop messing around. I've been slowly working towards my goals, getting my Master of Arts in teaching so I can be a social studies teacher, paying off my debts.

The problem now is patience... there's a temptation to want these goals NOW, and you just have to remind yourself that you're making progress, you're getting there. I feel like I've acquired more patience and peace, however, like you.

St. Paul likens our spiritual journey to a race-- we just need to keep our eye on the "finish line" and make sure we're moving TOWARDS it. :-)

Best wishes and God bless. Please pray for me, a poor sinner, and I will keep you in my prayers as well.

Tito said...

Karen,

You hit the nail right on the head. Yes, waiting for my life to 'begin'... and wanting it now.

Patience and peace. How fitting the way you put that. Peace which I have acquired a lot of and still need more of. Patience is one in which I haven't been as successful in acquiring.

St. Theresa of Avila once said (paraphrasing here) that with patience all things are achievable.

I will pray for you and thank you for your prayers.

In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

Tito

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