Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 09 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Frances of Rome
home iconVoices & Views
line break icon

Want to know what God wants from you? Try total immersion!

Katrina Fernandez - published on 11/29/16

We need to learn the language of Christ and Catholicism the same way we’d learn any other foreign language

Today’s “Dear Katrina” column comes directly from my always inquisitive 13-year-old son.  

Last week my son hit me with a barrage of questions, like how does he know what God wants from him if he can’t hear God, and how can he know if that tiny voice in his head isn’t really his own ego telling him what he wants to hear and not really God? But mostly he struggles with knowing what God wants from him because he feels like he’s not getting any clear indication.

His concerns are perfectly relatable whether you’re a seasoned Catholic or a young teenager. So I will tell you how I answered my son.

God communicates to us in various ways, just as we have numerous nonverbal ways of communicating. I can tell if my son had a bad day at school from his body language and the way he drags around the house. I can tell if he’s lying to me by the way he won’t meet my eye. He knows he’s in trouble when I give him a single sideways glare. So much can be communicated without ever uttering a single word.

We all have that shared nonverbal language with family, friends, and even co-workers. We also tend to develop our own language of inside jokes and jargon. But how do we get to that point where we can communicate almost telepathically with someone else? We have a relationship with them built through intimacy, bonding, shared experiences, familiarity, and knowledge.

I know my son and he knows me. So I told him if he wants to know what God wants for him and if he wants to communicate more clearly with God he first needs to get to know Him. So how does a 13-year-old boy start getting to know God? Read the Gospels. I told him to start learning about Christ’s life and read His words to develop familiarity. I also encouraged him to regularly go to adoration, explaining that this will build intimacy. You know that acronym WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)? Well, we can’t know what Jesus would do if we don’t know Jesus or anything about His life. Once we begin to know Christ we can then start to better recognize those ways in which He communicates with us.

We need to learn the language of Christ and Catholicism the same way we’d learn any other foreign language… through frequency and total immersion. Immersing ourselves in His word by regularly attending Mass, reading the Bible, and praying daily is the surest way to fluency.

And as far as knowing what God has planned for us… His plan is pretty much the same for everyone. Love Him above all else, follow His commandments, be obedient to His church, and desire heaven. There are a lot of roads to sainthood so trying to discern our “one true path” can actually cause us to miss the big obvious trail already blazed for us by 2,000 years of Church teaching.  

Tags:
AdviceCatholicismVocations
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
DOMINATIONS
Philip Kosloski
10 Mysterious things to know about guardian angels
2
tabernacle
Philip Kosloski
5 Important things to notice in a Catholic church
3
Philip Kosloski
10 Things you should know about St. Joseph
4
MIRACLE SUN
Philip Kosloski
7 Breathtaking miracles that can restore your faith in God
5
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope calls us to Abraham’s hope: Full text of address in Ur
6
Ziggurat of Ur
John Burger
Pope’s trip to Iraq is like a pilgrimage to a Holy Land
7
VaticanNews.va
Pope in Iraq: Schedule and key events
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.