Upcoming Events View All
St. John's Bible Calligraphy Instructional Class

Wednesday, 06/07/2023 at 6:00 PM -
Wednesday, 06/21/2023 at 6:00 PM

Corpus Christi Procession

Sunday, 06/11/2023 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

SSND Summer Service Week

Sunday, 06/11/2023 at 12:00 PM -
Saturday, 06/17/2023 at 12:00 PM

North County Deanery Corpus Christi Procession

Sunday, 06/11/2023 at 7:00 PM

Archbishop Fulton Sheen Pilgrimage

Friday, 06/16/2023 at 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Icon Studio

Monday, 06/19/2023 at 8:00 AM -
Friday, 06/23/2023 at 4:00 PM

Awaken to the Divine: A 5-Day Silent Retreat Guided by Paul Coutinho

Wednesday, 07/05/2023 at 9:00 AM -
Sunday, 07/09/2023 at 4:00 PM

Summer Silent Directed Retreat

Saturday, 08/12/2023 at 9:30 AM -
Thursday, 08/17/2023 at 4:00 PM

ASK | Find the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the voice of God

How do I distinguish between the voice of God, my own voice, and the voice of the devil?

From time to time, people are invited to play a game called “two truths and a lie” as an icebreaker. The premise is simple, you make three statements, two of which are true about yourself and one of which is something you have made up. People then try to guess which of the statements is false. I recently did this with my parish and told them 1) I was once hit by a deer…while running. 2) I have made it to the basecamp of Everest 3) I can speak Japanese. Can you guess which one is the lie?

Something similar happens in the discernment process when we are trying to distinguish the voice of God from other voices we hear in our heads when we are praying or meditating on something. Often our brains are spinning in all sorts of directions as we attempt to “figure it out.” Typically this becomes frustrating and we may be tempted to give up, because it seems like there is no clarity. So how do we know what God says to us?

The first voice is the voice of truth about the reality of the moment that we are living in. Instead of imagining God asking the question “What’s going on?”, imagine God asking you the question “Where are you?”. The answer isn’t a physical location, but rather an interior disposition: “I’m afraid, I’m happy, I’m angry, I’m excited, I’m lonely, etc.” This is our voice relating the truth about where we are to God. Attached to this truth will come two other voices, one of consolation and invitation, and one of discouragement and accusation.

Consider this example. When we struggle with a particular sin in our lives, we become acutely aware of our own weakness and inability to self-help. “I’m a sinner, and I’m weak” is a true statement that we can voice. Now comes two replies: “Yes, you are weak, so come to me, and I will give you rest. Abide with me. Remain in my love.”; and the second voice; “Yes, you are weak, and you’ll never be able to overcome this, if people knew about this, they wouldn’t love you. You should hide, withdraw, give up.”

Notice that both responses begin with a truth, but one voice answers with an invitation, the other, an accusation. The fruit of the voice of God is the fruit of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The other leads to restlessness, unease, division, doubt and despair. We are called to receive and respond to the voice of invitation (God) and to renounce the voice of the accuser. “Jesus, in your name I renounce the lie that … Come Holy Spirit, seal the voice of truth on my heart.”

The more attention we pay to this dynamic, the more familiar with the voice of Jesus we become. “Anyone who listens to the truth hears my voice (John 18:37),” and “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27-28).”

And in answer to the first question….I’ve never been to Everest.

Father Martin is pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Ellisville.

Related Articles Module

Recent Articles Module

Other Recent Columns Articles View All

Scripture can guide through change

From the Archive Module

ASK Find the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the voice of God 3833

Must Watch Videos

Now Playing

    View More Videos