Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

How to recognize the guidance of Holy Spirit



Philip Kosloski - published on 05/30/21

The Holy Spirit doesn't always give us audible guidance, but we may notice it in our heart.

Often we will ask the Holy Spirit for guidance, especially when we need to make an important decision in our lives.

However, it can be difficult, as the Holy Spirit doesn’t always give us audible guidance.

How can we possibly recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice?

Review the state of your soul

St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks about discernment in his Spiritual Exercises, and notes that it is important to understand the state of our soul before we can recognize the voice of God.

For example, Ignatius writes that if the soul is moving from “good to better,” the Holy Spirit may nudge us “sweetly,” with feelings of peace.

On the flip side, if our soul is moving from “bad to worse,” then the opposite is true, and the Holy Spirit can seem sharp, trying to kick us back in the right direction.

We have to be honest with ourselves and understand whether we are moving towards God’s commandments, or away from them.

Feelings of peace

In general, if we are striving to draw closer to God, he will speak to us in the silence of our hearts with peace and joy. It will likely not be in the form of an earthquake, lightning bolt, or flames of fire, but as Elijah heard, in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12).

When contemplating a decision we are about to make, if our heart is peaceful, then the Holy Spirit may be moving us in that direction.

If our heart is anxious, than it could be a sign that the Holy Spirit wants us to reconsider our situation.

Never cease to call upon the Holy Spirit and open your heart to whatever he may have to tell you.

Holy SpiritSpiritual Life

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 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
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.