Knowing the Mind of God
Grace to you!
One of the most challenging things in the spiritual life is knowing the mind of God. Many programs on discernment, such as the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the Benedictine Lectio Divina—where Saint Benedict recommends listening with "the ear of the heart"—and numerous other traditions, are geared towards finding the mind of God in specific situations in our life.
The more we know God's mind in individual cases of our spiritual journey, the better we are equipped to handle some gray areas of the spiritual life. We know that, from time to time, we deal with those gray areas where we need discernment and wisdom to carry on or act in the right way.
Saint Paul blesses us with some insight. He offers some truths regarding knowing the mind of God. He says, “For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:11).
Consider an analogy with human relationships or the bond between parents and their children. Parents tend to have some unique knowledge about their child, so they could tell with close to the accuracy, what their child’s tendencies are. It is not always the case, but they often get close to a perfect score about their child's inclinations.
You may also consider the relationship between husband and wife, who have been married for many years and allowed themselves to be utterly vulnerable to one another. They tend to have some knowledge about each other that connects them at the spiritual level. It is not always the case. But quite often, there is a knowledge at a deeper level much greater than the knowledge others have about them. Such a knowledge connect at the spirit level.
The above analogies are not perfect. However, they can help us to relate to the truth Saint Paul shares with the Corinthian Church and with us today.
We learn from the rich tradition of the Church that it is through a revelation by God Himself that anyone could know the Lord and know His ways. Saint Thomas Aquinas would tell us we can only assent to what God has revealed for if God doesn’t reveal Himself, how could we know him.
Well, God has revealed Himself in Christ for us to see and relate. Christ has given us the Spirit so we will relate to the Truth he is. We grasp this through the Holy Spirit without whom we would not connect to our faith's mystery. In Scripture, God has spoken. God has poured out His mind. His words communicate to us His will. Also, He reveals Himself through the sacraments as we encounter him. Those attuned to the Spirit of God see the threads of this divine intimations.
God has set some order. You may see it as a divine-designed value hierarchy, from the most important to the least important. It is the Spirit that enables us to see the
chart of this order and prioritize accordingly. We perceive more readily the divine roadmap. Such is also wisdom.
Knowing the mind of God in all things through the Spirit is wisdom. It is so because it helps us to place things in their right perspectives. We prioritize properly. We make informed redeeming decisions.
We pray for this kind of wisdom that enables us to know God, to understand God's mind in all things, and to act accordingly. Amen.
Tomorrow we continue this line of thought.
God love you. God bless you.
[Tuesday Week 22 Ordinary Time: 1 Cor 2:10-16; Lk 4:31-37]
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Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.