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.