“If you want to know what comes from God, give attention to what gives people peace.” Probably the single-most valuable piece of spiritual counsel I’ve ever received, my spiritual director reiterated this is something that me when I was struggling to make a major decision. The devil can imitate joy, but he cannot imitate true peace, I later learned.
Moms are constantly besieged with stops and sound. As I type this, one of my daughters is asking me questions, my toddler lad is banging his toy car in the kitchen, and my preschooler is singing to her cloak. Sigh. These distractions make it sometimes nearly impossible to spend the time necessary for silent meditation and petition on a daily basis. When your intelligence is hijacked by your kids’ incessant talking, how do you return to a sense of authentic and self-confident discernment of good and evil?
Begin by Listening
“’To listen’- in faith- to find one’s way and have the is of the view that, under God, one is really finding it again.”
I find myself regularly battling tension. When this happens, I know I need to pause and ask myself the Ignatian question about consolation versus lonelines: “Where is the movement coming from and where is it resulting me? ” St. John of the Cross teaches us that we cannot rely upon consolations to lead us, because evil spirits can give us “signs” or a sense of contentment in order to lead us into a spiritual trap. Similarly, unhappines is not an indication that we are spiritually bereft; sadnes can often lead us closer to God through the Purgative Way.
Moms especially must access that still, wee small voice within in order to discipline her mind toward recognizing whether a spirit is leading her toward or away from God. Here is a good benchmark for a mom who regularly attends Mass and Confession 😛 TAGEND
For people who are trying to live a life pleasing to God, the good spirit strengthens, encourages, consoles, removes handicaps, and commits agreement. The evil spirit tries to derail them by stirring up anxiety, inaccurate sadness, needle jumble, annoyance, and other obstacles.
Introduction to Discernment of Force, Ignatian Spirituality
Attend to Your Feelings, Biases, and Beliefs.
“We bring what we feel about ourselves and what we feel about God into every situation, gathering, and decision.”
Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing, 217.
Father Chad Ripperger, in his talk, “How to Identify Generational Spirits, ” cautions the laity to watch their interior affections. Begin by requesting Our Lady, “What am I suffering right now? ” Look at decorations in your demeanor that too exist in your family of origin; these are often sources of our biases and ideas- some of which do not originate in truth. For example, on my maternal place, nervousnes is probably the largest driving force behind how I learned to operate when I was growing up. Obviously, the spirit of fear is not of God.
Father Ripperger further explains that, by ponder daily( which happens in silence ), we learn to detect the ingenuities of kindnes. Thus, we distinguish when something comes from emotion or forgivenes; God does not move according to emotion. Grace will teach your might and strengthen your will. That is your greatest clue when discerning among countless atmospheres. Pray to your fairy godmother to discover what evil spirits are attached to you based on your sensations and your generational patterns.
Understanding the Two Kinds of Darkness: Holy and Unholy
“Night is maternal, fascinating, and cleansing. Darkness is just a fountain from which[ we are able to] develop moved and taught , no longer separated but work together in the Risen Christ…The night attests the mystery.”
Robert Cardinal Sarah, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, 196.
If you are anxious, chilled, ruminating, or feel suffocated or unwilling, ask yourself this question: “Is this a holy or unholy darkness? ” When I was doing my research for From Grief to Grace, I learned that unholy darkness was happening in us when we are not in a state of grace( e.g ., in a state of sin ), while holy darkness appears to a feeling that is faithful to the Church, her teachings, and the sacraments.
But both types of darkness often loom the same. This can be confusing. The past four years, I’ve given birth to three babes. Imagine my emotional state; it is in a constant flux of depression, distres, exhaustion, and distraction. Evil feels prey upon these vulnerabilities. But I know that, because despite how bleak things gaze, I can prompt myself that I am living a holy life according to my job. Then I can better chide the feels afflicting my psyche and heart.
Find the Such orders of Prayer
“When we are committed to do God’s will and not our own, we soon discover that much of what we do doesn’t need to be done by us. What we are called to do are actions that bring us true elation and peace.”
Henri Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup ?, 110.
Most of you reading this are probably once doing the very best to do God’s will ever day , no matter how arduous and difficult. The desire for us in thinking that potty training and wiping noses and cleaning up hand publishes and amending undermined dolls and defusing outbursts all amounts to menial and thankless wreak. While that’s true for a season, when we do these things with love( and it’s okay if it feels more like office right now ), God will honor our efforts.
Your prayer doesn’t have to be formal and dreadfully long. But it does need to evolve into an instinctive recognition of recognizing God’s voice among the others and then listening to His alone.
My husband tells me often, “Just demonstrate God your meager loaves and fishes. He will multiply them for you.”
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