Practical advice on how to discern God’s will


Straightforward tips from Mother Angelic on hearing God’s call for us.

Discerning God’s will can be a challenging process. It’s not easy knowing what God is calling us to do and often we lack the confidence that enables us to make a firm decision.

The good news is that many who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith similarly struggled with God’s will. They encourage us onward and have left rich words of wisdom that can aid us in our journey.

Mother Angelica was known for her down-to-earth wisdom, and discernment of God’s will was one area that she was an expert at. In a collection of her thoughts, Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality, she notes how often she was asked for advice on the topic.

People often ask me, “How do you know whether something is God’s Will in your life?” I say, “Ask me next year, and then we’ll know whether it was God’s Will.”

The Lord isn’t going to come down and say, “Now, look sweetie, I want you to do this little thing for me.” He’s not going to do that. He gave you a brain. He gave you a memory, an intellect, a will. Do you realize if you’re a Christian, you have Sanctifying Grace in you? The Holy Spirit is in you. Pray. Move forward in His grace, and you will discover His will for you”

She firmly believed that you shouldn’t wait for an “earthquake” to make a decision, but to prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do and then act on it, using your gifts and talents to make a prudent decision.

In addition to this wisdom, Mother Angelica also listed a short list of criteria to use when discerning God’s will.

Does it violate any of the Commandments? Is it against the precepts of the Church?
Will it give God honor and glory?
Will it benefit my family and my spiritual life?

If it is in accord with this criteria, then it is a decision that is in accord with God’s designs.

There will always be times when we reach a “gray area,” when we it is too close to call and we are afraid of making the wrong choice. The good news, according to Mother Angelica, is that God will still be with us, even if our decisions aren’t the greatest. She said, “If somehow along the way we miss it, He will make good out of your mistakes. You can depend on that.”

God knows what he is doing. We just have to trust in him and his plan for us.

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