Recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit
We are familiar with the saying that “familiarity breeds contempt.” It continues to hold true even today. In fact, it is even much more so nowadays when many people, even the so-called religious ones, have become indifferent to the things of God.
Christ himself suffered this fate. He returned to his hometown one day and started to preach in the synagogue, but his own people could not believe that one of their own could acquire such knowledge and wisdom that he displayed on that occasion. In fact, they took offense at him. (cfr Mk 6,1-6)
Thus, Christ said those famous words: “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.”
We have to remember that God is always with us. Our life cannot but be a shared life with God. He is in us and in everything around us. In fact, being our creator and the maintainer of our existence, God is always prompting us through the Holy Spirit.
We have to be wary of our tendency to take things for granted because we consider these things as routine to us or are just so simple and ordinary that they do not merit any particular attention.
If we are always aware, as we should, that God is always intervening in our life, we should also be aware that even in our daily ordinary events, usually made up of small details, the Holy Spirit is conveying very important messages to us. Or he is giving us divine impulses so that we will always be in the dynamic of love and not fall into boredom and the like.
We have to do everything to keep this awareness of the Holy Spirit’s abiding interventions in our life alive and operative. This duty and task is not meant for some special people only but rather for all of us. And this we can do if we try to keep ourselves always in the presence of God, constantly asking him and consulting him.
“Oh, Holy Spirit,” we may start asking, for example, “how should I understand this thing that is happening to me now, how should I react and behave, what are you trying to tell me in this particular event and circumstance, etc.?”
If we ask these questions with faith, we know that we are not simply talking to the wind. We would be convinced that we are engaged in an intimate conversation with someone who is everything to us, the one who actually is the main shaper of our life.
We therefore have to learn to recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit. Again this we can do if try to develop a contemplative life, study the doctrine of our faith as taught now by the Church, avail of spiritual and ascetical means to keep our relation with God alive.
It would be good if we develop the habit of reading and meditating on the gospel, the catechism, some spiritual books, etc., and avail of some plan of continuing spiritual and doctrinal formation.
These are very helpful to discern the true voice of the Holy Spirit which can come to us amid many confusing elements that, sad to say, are proliferating these days. These elements can even appear good and holy, and quite attractive in the sense of giving us certain advantages and conveniences.
But the voice of the Holy Spirit can somehow be discerned if we experience what St. Paul termed as the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.
These are opposed to the works of the flesh: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing...(cfr. Gal 5,19-23)*
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