Will of God
How to Discern It
The purpose of this document is to assist the Faithful in being able to
discern the Will of God for all of our actions.
To be able to discern the Will of God so that we defer to It, is much
simpler than it appears or simpler than we have been led to believe by
those who enjoy being idolized by "the masses".
As you read this document, keep in mind that miguel de Portugal has
lived in this mode for almost 16 years: Whether the action prompted by
God was to embark on a transAtlantic journey with not one cent to his
name and not being able to ask for it, or to travel to Constantinople,
Ephesus, etc. on three days notice, or leave town in three hours notice
or take a different way home to ensure his personal safety. That is -
what you will read here is "lived experience" as inspired by, and lived
with, God and not "book learned".
We have received a letter which has prompted this document. We will
reprint the letter below and use it as a starting point for the
development of the document.
Discerning the will of God is
something that can be very difficult on mundane questions that may have
important implications but are not amenable to a clear moral judgment
and where no obvious "signal" from the Lord is visible. On this note,
St. Ignatius had his rules for the discernment of spirits, essentially
suggesting that those spirits that suggest the right choice bring along
peace, while those suggesting the wrong choice bring anxiety, anger, or
other emotions that have in common a "burning" feeling (my paraphrase).
Do you have any insight on this method of steering one's choices?
The key to easily discern the Will of God, even in very minor areas,
is, first and foremost, to have a solid interactive relationship with
God. God is not "a fixture" - He is a concrete Eternally living
"entity" - for lack of the appropriate word to describe God. We were
created in His Image, therefore, it logically follows that if we want
to have a close and solid interactive relationship with God we should
try, as a first step, whatever we would try to achieve that same type
of relationship with another human being.
The advantage that the establishment of this relationship with God has
is that, in His case, as opposed as to establishing it with a human
being, He will greatly assist us in achieving it.
Another key - just as important - is to truly desire such
relationship out of sheer Love for Him. Not for any material benefit;
not for securing Eternal life; not for the sake of Holiness - simply
for Love for Him and the consequential logically burning desire
to serve Him, to please Him, to console Him, to thank Him for
everything,... to be totally His. When you are His, all else will
That is the meaning of: Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God
(1), and his justice, and all these things
shall be added unto you. [Matthew 6:33]
Once the above foundations have been laid, there are a few signs to
look for and which will assist you in doing His Will in everything you
1. When we do the Will of God our actions will never - ever - be
immoral or illegal as judged by the accepted standards of our
environment and our faith-formed conscience. The "code of ethics" that
has been used, and continues to be used, by organized religion - The
End justify the Means - is amongst the biggest snares perpetrated
upon humanity by satan.
2. There are situations whereby Choice "A" or Choice "B" are both just
the same as far as the Will of God is concerned. Then you chose what
may be more personally pleasing to you in the total comfort of knowing
that either choice will be pleasing to God.
3. A confirming sign of fulfilling the Will of God is being prompted to
do something, which fully meets the requirement No. 1, above, but that
you may not personally prefer doing. It may actually be the last thing
you would like to do.
A case in point: miguel de Portugal dislikes to move to the point
whereby he turned down the first promotion he received in the exercise
of his professional career because it entailed moving to another
city... even though it was an "all expense paid" transfer. Since his
"Yes" to God sixteen years ago he has practically lived out of a
suitcase and a few boxes stored in two continents. When he is asked by
a friend or acquaintance, whom he may run into after the latest move: "Where
are you now?", he answers: "Now, in front of you; ten minutes
from now, only God knows!"
However, once it is clear that it is the Will of God, although "you'd
rather not do it" you would not avoid it under any circumstances. It is
like we have discussed elsewhere (2): When you
physically suffer because God needs that sacrifice, even though you may
be in terrible pain, somehow "it is OK" and you would not wish to be
free of it UNLESS God did not need you to suffer said pain any more.
Please note: This has nothing to do with the sadomasochistic practice
of using the cilice or self flagellation or any other similar behavior
completely alien to God (3).
4. Whenever you are fulfilling the Will of God - even if the event
(like moving, in the case of miguel) is not pleasing to you, there is
peace in your soul - a peace that can only come from God.
We suggest not to dwell so much on the issue of "discernment of
spirits" (4) but on focusing on God and trying
to discern the Will of His Spirit. We assure you - no "spirit"
will touch or confound you when you are in an intimate and interactive
relationship with God. God rules the Universe and even satan must serve
The popular version of the pursuit of the Will of God reminds us of the
situation faced by individuals who are always trying to lose weight and
try every imaginable diet without much success, yet, they do not do
what would be most effective - Eat the right kind of foods and eat less
Therefore, if we want to be sure and live the Will of God: Establish
and maintain an interactive relationship with God. All else
will be like those diets that seem to never work.
Just like a person who becomes blind develops all other senses beyond
the normal to compensate for the lack of the visual stimulus; or just
like a deaf person, likewise, develops the remaining senses; or just
like an physically abused child develops an uncanny sensitivity to
determine what pleases his/her tormentor in an effort to appease
him/her, when anyone truly wishes to please God and do His Will, he/she
will develop a "sixth sense" through which the Will of God will be
easier to detect than for the average mortal who may have just a
passing acquaintance with God.
is the Kingdom of God and who has its keys?
(2) Personal anecdote (A Witness) in The
Redemption of Mankind
Asceticism and its Abuse
(4) We are fully aware of what we hear through 1 Corinthians
12:10 and Hebrews 5:14
En Español: La Voluntad de Dios - Cómo discernirla en
Published on May 19th, 2007 -
Mary Queen of Prophets
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