with Paul Ray
“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.
He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
We have already spoken about the first three components of discernment before the Blessed Sacrament. They are: 1) A firm and absolute amendment to want to do God’s will; 2) Praying for the gift of wisdom; and 3) Know what the Church teaches and securing a well-formed conscience. Now, we begin with the nuts and bolts of discernment.
Sit before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament when it comes time to discern. Enter into His Presence. This may take just a few minutes to do. Just sit quietly and know that you’re in the presence of the Author of Life. You do not need to feel anything inside. No need to wait for a sudden burst of love or overwhelming feeling of consolation. It’s great if you do and that’s simply a bonus, an extra grace from God. More often than not, however, being in the presence of our Lord is not accompanied by a lofty feeling or emotion. Therefore, do not allow that to deter or hinder you. God is just as present to you when you can’t necessarily feel Him as He is when He feels far away.
Once in His divine presence, bring to mind the choice you have to make. Allow both (or however many you might have) options to simply rest inside your mind and ignore any distractions coming from within or without. Ask Jesus, in His Eucharistic veil, to peer deep inside your heart and guide you. You may want to bring along a notebook or something to write in to jot down any inspirations you might have, i.e., any Scripture verses which come to mind, quotes from a saint, a paragraph from the Catechism, a word which you hear that week, etc. Ask your guardian angel to enlighten you and to help guide you to the will of God and remain focused, casting out any potential instigation from the evil spirit.
Bear in mind that, with God we must be on guard to expect the unexpected. Do not immediately disregard any inspirations on a pre-conceived notion that whatever comes to mind must not be from God because it wasn’t what you were expecting. Sifting through everything comes later on. For the time being, be content in simply allowing the Holy Spirit to freely move within you. – Paul A. Ray