During an Audience that took place not long after he was chosen to be the spiritual leader of our Church, Pope Francis spoke these words: “Christ opened the path to us…If we entrust our life to him, if we let ourselves be guided by him, we are certain to be in safe hands, in the hands of our Savior, our advocate.” (Audience, April 17, 2013) In calling our attention to the guidance that Jesus offers to us, the Pope reminded us about the importance of being in tune with God’s actions in our lives and the invitations that God places before us.
Every one of us is called upon to make decisions every day. We might say that some of these decisions are more commonplace, such as deciding what I will wear today or how will I spend some leisure time. Others are more important and life-changing: what career will I choose or how can I best develop the talents and gifts that God has given to me. These latter kinds of decisions involve quality time, a good deal of personal reflection, and prayer.
In our Christian tradition, ‘spiritual discernment’ has presented us with an important means of making decisions in the context of our faith and our life with God. The process of ‘spiritual iscernment’ invites us to listen more intently to all of the ways in which God speaks to us and interacts with us each day. In the Letter to the Colossians, Saint Paul the Apostle prays: “we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord…” (Colossians 1:9-10)
As individuals enter into various aspects of their spiritual journey, they often ask the question: “What is God asking of me at this time in my life?” This is an important question that we all need to consider from time to time. ‘Spiritual discernment’ can help us to arrive at a deeper understanding of how God is acting in our lives and how God is guiding us toward the future. Our theme for this retreat season, Make known to me your ways, Lord will help us to reflect prayerfully on this important dynamic of the spiritual life.
This September marks the beginning of our 97th season of offering retreats at Saint Paul of the Cross. Together, let us pray in gratitude for the many blessings of the past, and let us pray for God’s continued blessings and guidance in the days ahead.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Gerald Laba, C.P.