Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unrequited Discernment Part II

Following up on yesterday's post, I want to continue exploring this question of discernment. I really thought the post spoke for itself yesterday. It is clearly time to move on from this discernment, if it was ever discernment at all, and not continue to give it more attention. 

Given the correspondence I have received in re: to this post, I am not the only person out there who questions sometimes whether discernment was validly obtained. For those of us who do not have Jesus standing in front of us talking, like St. Faustina, we must do our best to pay attention and act on what we believe is God's Will for us. When the outcome is not what we expect, it can be confusing. And yet, there are fruits that are of a different appearance. There certainly have been in this case.

In the comments section of my post, I asked the question: Does discernment always = yes? Well, no. Immediately, I thought about Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was stopped before killing his son, even after God told him to. There are many places in the Bible where God has other plans in mind, different from those we might expect. We do our best to say "yes" to God and not get too attached to the outcome. Some of us do that better than others.

Writing this out reminded me of another discernment I felt was a "shoe in" for God's Will. I wrote about it here, the time when I believed God was being clear with me about His Will. Now, I am a correctional nurse with exactly ZERO interest in ever pursuing anything pertaining to childbirth. I kid you not, I cannot muster up one ounce of interest. I very much love what I am doing now and see His Presence around me but it sure took a long time to "let go" of the childbirth "discernment." I did not hold onto it because I "wanted it to be right." I held onto it because I wanted what God wanted for me and it all "made sense" so I believed it. Then, absolutely nothing moved in that direction at all. I concluded that I had hastily determined a "discernment" without taking any time at all to examine the rest of the evidence around me. 

Clearly it's my conception of discernment that is flawed, because He has His way of having His way regardless of what I discern or don't discern. Well, good riddance. I say "yes" to what He has for me, and I'm not going to spend much time worrying about knowing it beforehand! I think part of the problem here is that I'm trying to seek knowledge when I should be trusting that God will provide for what I need. He does that in a way that does not depend on me knowing. This is so generically Eve-like that it's laughable.

And on a personal note, one of my readers expressed her own fear that, should she ask for spiritual direction from a priest, he might say no. I say, "Ask anyway!" Don't be afraid, as you will not get one if you don't ask. :-) But we shouldn't take it personally, either, because we will not always know why things go in one direction or the other.

Let nothing disturb you, 
Let nothing frighten you, 
All things are passing away: 
God never changes. 
Patience obtains all things. 
Whoever has God lacks nothing; 
God alone suffices. ~~ St. Teresa of Avila

There is a lifetime of prayer here in these 7 lines of St. Teresa...for me anyway. As always, your prayers are appreciated.


Tonia Marshall said...

You had Abandonment to Divine Providence on your reading list. I think you'd enjoy it if you haven't read it already.

лю said...

I saw that from St Teresa on St Nicholas's website and loved it, too! Immediately copied it where I'd see it regularly.