How do we know what God wants us to do? Here’s a little lesson from the Catechism of the Catholic Church to help us understand how to seek God’s Will and try to accomplish it.
Discernment of God’s Will and Abandonment to God’s Will.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church on discernment and the Will of God.
2826 By prayer we can discern “what is the will of God” and obtain the endurance to do it. Jesus teaches us that one enters the kingdom of heaven not by speaking words, but by doing “the will of my Father in heaven.”
1835 Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it.
2706 To meditate on what we read helps us to make it our own by confronting it with ourselves. Here, another book is opened: the book of life. We pass from thoughts to reality. To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
2677 Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word.” By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: “Thy will be done.”
Helps to discernment:
Looking for God’s Will in the needs of our neighbors
Looking for God’s Will in the needs of the Church
Looking for God’s Will in our current obligations
Looking for God’s Will in His expressed Commands
Looking for God’s Will through the events that He permits to occur for the greater good.
Asking in a given situation what would seem to be more pleasing to God.
Helps to abandonment:
Desiring to do God’s Will in all things big and small
Accepting that God’s Will may not be to our liking
Loving God’s Will even when we don’t understand it
Believing Jesus’ words that only the one who does the Will of His Father will enter the Kingdom.
Promptly and cheerfully doing what we know to be God’s Will.
Pitfalls which keep us from abandonment:
Wanting to serve God on our own terms
Attachment to sin, worldly things, or our own plans
Letting fear keep us from accepting God’s Will
Wanting exhaustive knowledge of God’s plan and His timing
Insisting on knowing why something is God’s Will