Grace to you!
One of the most difficult things in the spiritual life is knowing the mind of God. Many programs on discernment, such as the spiritual exercisesof St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Benedictine lectio Divina where St. 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 the mind of God 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.
We get some insight from Saint Paul. 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 kind of knowledge about their child in such a way they could tell, with close to accuracy, what their child’s tendencies are. It is not always the case, but quite often they get close to a perfect score.
Or the relationship between husband and wife who have been married for many years. They tend to have some knowledge about each other that connects them at the spiritual level. This 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.
The above analogies are not perfect. However, they can help us to relate to the truth St. 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. St. 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 Scripture God has spoken. God has poured out His mind. His words communicate to us His will and His Spirit. Also, He reveals Himself through the sacraments as we encounter him.
God has set some order. You may see it as divine designed value hierarchy; from the most important to the least important. Prioritizing appropriately based on this divine order would lead to some knowledge of the one who has set the order. It is also acting in the spirit of wisdom.
I suspect, it would be ridiculous to consider a person who values his car more than his child as a wise person. This is because there is a misplaced priority. Just like it would be ridiculous to place love of my coffee over love of my neighbor.
Knowing the mind of God in all things is clearly wisdom. This is so because it helps us to place things in their right perspective.
We pray for this kind of wisdom which enables us to know God so as to know God’s mind in all things and relate accordingly.
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]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.