Discernment: Every day we face the challenge of discerning what God is calling us to or to what God is alerting us as potential danger to our faith, our trust and our dependence upon Him. The only way that we are going to be up to the task is if we heed St. Paul’s message in today’s first reading. He says to us: “Put on the armor of God….[S]tand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the Gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
There is no other way. Satan is the Father of Lies. He lies continually!
Let us, though, look at this also from a psychological point of view. How do we know that we are actually lying to ourselves, as Satan desires of us? In her book entitled Lies We Tell Ourselves: The Psychology of Self-Deception, Cortney S. Warren, Ph.D., suggests that we start by observing yourself without any judgment. How are you reacting emotionally? We react emotionally to something when it stirs a memory, usually unconscious, that is painful or the memory brings up an unresolved issue. We do not want that memory to surface, so we are likely to not face the truth of what is being said. “Given this reality,” Dr. Warren states, “when you have a strong emotional reaction to something or someone, pause. Ask yourself: What is this emotion? What is my emotion in reaction to? Is my emotion really related to the present situation or is the present situation triggering something in me that is unresolved baggage from my past.”
Spiritually, go the Lord—let us, in the words of St. Paul, “put on the armor of God.” Then ask God to bring up that unresolved issue! Ask God to help you name it, identify it! What happened then? Talk about that happening with the Lord! Tell Him all about it. Once you bring it out in the open and deal with it, passing it back to your past where it belongs and expressing your feelings to the persons involved in that situation, it will no longer rear its head in the present and block you from being open to what God is saying to you now!
For more information on Dr. Cortney S. Warren and her work, visit www.choosehonesty.com.