DISCERNING THE WILL OF GOD
“Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 22,10). The question of Paul on the road to Damascus is repeated at the many crossroads of life. Claret formulated it when, in the fullness of his youth, he questioned his possible success in the textile industry: “I was like Paul on the road to Damascus; but I was in need of someone like Ananias to tell me what to do” (Aut 69). Similar situations appeared at other crucial moments: when he started his itinerant preaching, when he was named an archbishop…
In moments like this, Claret doesn’t trust in himself or in his qualities. He turns to prayer and to attentive listening to the Word of God. He consults persons of confidence and meditates thoroughly the opinions and suggestions they offer him…Only like this, in the decision he takes, he sees the will of God.
This process is called discernment today. It means the conviction that I don’t achieve the noble thing by giving way to the more immediate and spontaneous impulse but rather by meditating painstakingly the “inner voice”, trying to discover, with the means available, what God wants from me. This requires a capacity to dialogue, listen, trust in others by whom I am challenged. And especially, it is a matter of listening deep inside the heart to the voice of God through careful meditation of the Scripture, of the needs and urgencies of my brothers contemplated with evangelical insight, of the signs of the time.
And the time comes for decision making. I cannot spend all my life paralyzed, questioning permanently what can be my vocation or which road to take. Every decision has some risks and challenges. But the worst one can do is to not make the decision.
How do I proceed at the time of taking important decision of my life? Who do I consult? Which opinions do I give greater value to at the time of taking decision?