Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Discernment: What St. Paul Teaches Us

Discernment: What St. Paul teaches us
 Throughout this week’s liturgical readings we spend time with St. Paul.  Hints of discernment skills exist in many of the accounts of his missionary work to the Gentiles. In Acts 16: 11-15, for instance, he states that he and his companion “spend some time,” in Philippi and that, on the sabbath, they “went outside the city gate along  the river where [they] thought there would be a place of prayer.”  There they entered into conversation with Lydia, with whom they shared their faith.  “The Lord open her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.
Several element of discernment surface:
·         The necessity of spending time in the “Philippi’s” of our lives to get to know the territory
·         The importance of going outside the busyness of the “Philippi’s” in order to quiet our minds
·         The need to look for a place to pray, to commune with our God in the quiet of our hearts
·         The realization that it is God who opens our hearts (a grace for which to pray)
·         The significance of paying attention to another’s beliefs following our openness about our own
·         The need to ask to be “baptized,” that is to die and rise with Christ to a new way of thinking, to new perceptions, perhaps

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