on listening for the Holy Spirit
On Monday I shared a book review of The School of the Holy Spirit. This book has brought so much clarity and inspiration to me and I am so grateful for the words of Fr. Jacques Philippe.
Recognizing the Holy Spirit working in me has often felt like a real challenge, His movements in me have not always felt clear. I can easily lose His voice among all of the muddled up thoughts and voices that can occupy my mind. But the good news is this, in John 10:5-4 Christ tells us that “The sheep follow him, for they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of the strangers.”
According to Philippe, we can progressively gain a “spiritual sense” through our faithfulness in following Christ. In time and with experience, our ability to respond to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives will move from a rough form to a more refined spiritual hearing.
The unique tone of the Holy Spirit is:
gentle and powerful
clear, and when we are accustomed to hearing it, it is unmistakable
This really excites me friends! I tend to be an “all or nothing” type of thinker, which is such a self limiting way of being. It’s impatience really. I pray for guidance, wrap up my prayers and feel alone because I didn’t hear or feel the Holy Spirit. But did I give Him a chance? Did I make my prayer time an opportunity for two way communication or did I throw all my thoughts/worries/fears at God and expect instant and clear response from Him? I’m over here with my hand raised because that’s me, that’s what I’m guilty of. But this passage from John and Philippe’s inspired words brings me comfort in knowing that progressively, little by little, I can discern His movements in me. And the more I stay faithful to this, the more I use my prayer time to engage in a two way conversation, the stronger this spiritual sense grows in me and the clearer the Holy Spirit will be. So now each morning I wake and pray “come Holy Spirit come.” I’m learning to be a little slower with my prayers, to build in time for quiet, not to be hurried, but to let myself be in His presence so that I may hear Him.