S. Janet Gildea writes in the lead of the E-Voc newsletter of the Sisters of Charity of CIncinnati…
“I wish God would just TELL ME what God wants of my life!
I’m driving myself crazy trying to figure it out! How do I know if I’m really listening to God or if I’m just hearing what I want to hear?”
If you find yourself feeling frustrated, exhausted and sick of hearing one more thing about the “d-word,” maybe it would be helpful to take a deep breath, take a step back and consider this: God wants you to be your truest self. And this is not something remote or unknowable. As Moses told the Israelites entering into the sacred covenant with God, this is “something very near to you, already in your heart … you have only to carry it out” (Deuteronomy 30:14 paraphrased).
Trusting that God has your best interests at heart might allow you to move toward what St. Ignatius called “holy indifference.” This is a disposition of deep availability for what God desires for you. Can you let go of your own preferences and prejudices regarding the decision you are considering? Ask for the grace to hold the two options like the two pans of a scale perfectly balanced, or a teeter-totter at equilibrium. Then allow God to “weigh-in” on your decision. This takes some practice and real self-emptying.
Another simple yet important remedy for the discernment blues is giving God a listen. Constant chatter, inner or outer, and busyness can keep you from hearing the voice of God. Faithfulness to a discipline of centering prayer or meditation every day, even for just 10 or 15 minutes, will let God get a word in. Just show up and be still. God is already there waiting for you.
Remember God’s timing is perfect. Whatever schedule you have set for completing your discernment process, let it always be subject to revision. God is unfolding your life at exactly the proper speed. Try to keep pace with it, neither rushing nor dragging your feet. As Rilke said to the young poet, “Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart…” No pushing. But no procrastinating, either.
The Gospels of this Easter season convey a message of peace. The disciples, huddled together in fear and confusion, encounter the Risen One who tells them, “Peace! Do not be afraid!” Reflecting on these words can bring comfort and courage to anyone in the throes of the discernment process. “Peace be with you! It is I!”
Read/download the full issue. April E-voc 2013