Perhaps you think you’re not “God material”?

Goduse

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Stinkin’ Thinkin’? Fr. Thomas Berg writes that we are not necessarily called to be successful . . .

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Biblical truth or a convenient excuse for a poorly run Church?

photo:Wikipedia

5 keys to better discernment

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Five general principles of discernment of God’s will that apply to all questions about it, and therefore to our question too, are the following:

  1. Always begin with data, with what we know for sure. Judge the unknown by the known, the uncertain by the certain. Adam and Eve neglected that principle in Eden and ignored God’s clear command and warning for the devil’s promised pig in a poke.
  2. Let your heart educate your mind. Let your love of God educate your reason in discerning his will. Jesus teaches this principle in John 7:17 to the Pharisees. (Would that certain Scripture scholars today would heed it!) They were asking how they could interpret his words, and he gave them the first principle of hermeneutics (the science of interpretation): “If your will were to do the will of my Father, you would understand my teaching.” The saints understand the Bible better than the theologians, because they understand its primary author, God, by loving him with their whole heart and their whole mind.
  3. Have a soft heart but a hard head. We should be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves,” sharp as a fox in thought but loyal as a dog in will and deed. Soft-heartedness does not excuse soft-headedness, and hard-headedness does not excuse hard-heartedness. In our hearts we should be “bleeding-heart liberals” and in our heads “stuck-in-the-mud conservatives.”
  4. All God’s signs should line up, by a kind of trigonometry. There are at least seven such signs: (1) Scripture, (2) church teaching, (3) human reason (which God created), (4) the appropriate situation, or circumstances (which he controls by his providence), (5) conscience, our innate sense of right and wrong, (6) our individual personal bent or desire or instincts, and (7) prayer. Test your choice by holding it up before God’s face. If one of these seven voices says no, don’t do it. If none say no, do it.
  5. Look for the fruits of the spirit, especially the first three: love, joy, and peace. If we are angry and anxious and worried, loveless and joyless and peaceless, we have no right to say we are sure of being securely in God’s will. Discernment itself should not be a stiff, brittle, anxious thing, but—since it too is part of God’s will for our lives—loving and joyful and peace-filled, more like a game than a war, more like writing love letters than taking final exams.

Read more from Peter Kreeft

Don’t play with the devil, because you will lose!

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A GENERAL RULE: Don’t play with the Devil.

As soon as one knows that it comes from the devil, it must be rejected without any discussion. Check to see if God would suggest the thought, if not, it’s from the devil! Don’t entertain it.

“Playing with the devil” is tarrying with a thought that one knows to be not good, and thus from the devil. Woe to him who consents to dialogue with the devil (who is much stronger than we). Eve succumbed because she “played” with the devil. Instead of cutting him short, she started to discuss the temptation with him. The devil finished by making her fall.

Saint Bernard wrote: “Nobody becomes suddenly bad.” Know that it has not happened all of a sudden. For a long time, they have played with the devil.

If you play with the devil, you will lose. Don’t entertain “what if” bad thoughts. Reject it as soon as you perceive it’s a bad thought or you will fall little by little. He proposes little sins first.

The devil tries to put our minds at ease when we are in sin or are about to sin. The good angels do the opposite. We must not help the devil but must help disturb the conscience of those living in sin. Don’t put them at ease. We must not help the devil give them a false peace.

People today are very external and active. They don’t know how to be quiet, how to think about life. Beware of too much activity that keeps the mind from thinking, keeps us from internal thoughts. True peace of mind does not come from the devil.

The good angel will give reasons why an idea is bad.

The devil uses our situation against us. Are we tired, sick, have evil friends, etc. Beware of “if” or “maybe” proposals and thoughts.

God also uses good friends and sends us lights. Pay attention to influences. Distinguish between good influences and bad or evil influences. Keep the good and reject the evil.

The devil moves the passions since he cannot move the will. He however wants our will. So he moves our passions: sadness, anxiety, etc. Don’t play with it. Say no to sadness. God always gives peace of mind when good is selected.

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On the problem of accurately discerning God’s will for your life

If you’re trying to make a decision and you truly want to do God’s Will, try these 3 steps in order. If the first one works for you, there’s no need to move on to the second. If the second one works, there’s no need to go on to the third. If you get to the third mode, keep trying…it WILL work!

Link

Kreeft: How to successfully discern God’s will for your life … and act accordingly.

Does God have one right choice for me in each decision I make?

When we pray for wisdom to discern God’s will when it comes to choosing a mate, a career, a job change, a move, a home, a school, a friend, a vacation, how to spend money, or any other choice, big or little, whenever there are two or more different paths opening up before us and we have to choose, does God always will one of those paths for us? If so, how do we discern it?

Many Christians who struggle with this question today are unaware that Christians of the past can help them from their own experience. Christian wisdom embodied in the lives and teachings of the saints tells us two things that are relevant to this question.

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Pope recommends spiritual direction to every Christian


“Spiritual Direction – 2 Cents”

Pope Benedict said today, “As she has never failed to do, again today the Church continues to recommend the practice of spiritual direction, not only to all those who wish to follow the Lord up close, but to every Christian who wishes to live responsibly his baptism, that is, the new life in Christ,” Pope Benedict added. “Everyone, in fact, and in a particular way all those who have received the divine call to a closer following, needs to be supported personally by a sure guide in doctrine and expert in the things of God.”

“A guide can help defend oneself from facile subjectivist interpretations, making available his own supply of knowledge and experiences in following Jesus.”

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Editor’s note: A great idea, as far as it goes. I wonder if the pope realizes how difficult it is these days, even to find a good priest, for confession? As for spiritual direction … I would be happy to find just one priest or bishop who would actually provide straight, unequivocal answers to the great Catholic questions of the day. The last one I knew died, several years ago!

The generally lame, post-Vatican II Catholic seminaries and deaconate programs have for the most part, done little or nothing to make spiritual direction either advisable or available for the great majority of practicing Catholics. In fact, the latest John Jay study made clear that the risks to the faithful … both spiritual and physical … may be considerable.

And don’t get me started on the alleged “Catholic” education establishment!

To put it simply: These days, a great degree of caution and discernment is required when selecting a spiritual director. Even for a pope!