• Michael Haldas

Discernment


“Although we are created for relationship with God, such intimacy is uncommon. Discernment is a lost capacity, for our lives are corrupted by sin and pride. Our noetic faculties are darkened and a direct encounter with God remains beyond our experience.” (Dynamis 6/24/2019)

“Seeing reality for what it is is what we call discernment. The work of discernment is very hard.” (Lewis B. Smedes)

“We are never totally aware of how God is moving in our lives, how He is active in our existence. We do know that He is there, that “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). We are in Him and He is in us. But we are never totally conscious of just how He is there, and what are His motivations for our lives. We try to comprehend it all rationally, with our heads, but it does not work like that. We know such things not with our heads; we know them with our hearts – we intuit, we perceive, we sense, we experience…it is truly the deepest kind of knowing. But even with this kind of knowing, God’s existence in our lives remains only partially in our awareness; the rest is out of our awareness.” (Metropolitan Philip Saliba and Fr. Joseph Allen)

"In truth, discernment comes from God as we struggle to purify our nous. Only then, according to Saint Maximos the Confessor, is the nous “divorced from ignorance and illumined by divine light.” As we act with the Lord for cleansing, our noetic faculty may be restored to its natural state.” (Dynamis 6/24/2019)

“…the more we mature spiritually, the more we can bring His energy into us, into our awareness, where it can then become expressed in our lives’ acts. We never completely exhaust this possibility because there will always be more; we are never totally “filled up” with God’s energy. Saint Gregory of Nyssa knew this when he said that our search for God was an “endless seeking…What he meant is that this energy is always coming to us, always active in us, always emerging, but we can become conscious of it, be aware of it, discern it, only partially. Although our consciousness, that is, our awareness or discernment of God in us, can only be in part, yet it constantly presses for expression.” (Metropolitan Philip Saliba and Fr. Joseph Allen)

“Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word, and the sensitivity to discern between your feelings and His promptings.” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 5:16-18)

“It’s not that signs and wonders are not real. They are. The Scriptures, lives of the saints, and lives of many attest to their truth. However, it does require a level of spiritual maturity to have discernment to recognize them properly. In our immature spiritual enthusiasm, if we are not careful, we can fall into what is called prelest, or spiritual deception, in which we start believing almost every event in our lives has some spiritual significance and direct intention from God.” (Sacramental Living Blog, David Beck)

“To distinguish between our own feelings and thoughts and the guidance of the Spirit requires regular prayer, long practice in discernment, and the counsel of a spiritual advisor and wise pastor. The Scriptures help us to prepare our hearts to hear the Spirit. But we must remember that He cannot lead if we simply rush to the Bible, grasping for a verse, or thumb through the writings of the Fathers in search of a word we want to hear. Rather, we must develop a habit of reading and meditating on the great treasures of holy tradition so as to steep ourselves in the mind of Christ.” (Dynamis 7/4/2015)

“Only those who are mature in faith can hear and discern the promptings of the Spirit." (St. John Chrysostom)

“If we live sacramentally, our discernment will grow greater over time and we will know God’s continual presence despite how we may feel. When we have a consistent and continual prayer life with God, He illuminates us at His pleasure and for our own good at appropriate times.” (Sacramental Living)

“God reveals His will to those who are sensitive to His leading…Discernment is a gift from God.” (Foundation Study Bible, Acts 13:2-4, Dynamis 8/30/2012)

“If we live sacramentally, our discernment will grow greater over time and we will know God’s continual presence despite how we may feel. When we have a consistent and continual prayer life with God, He illuminates us at His pleasure and for our own good at appropriate times.” (Sacramental Living)

“In order to grow from infant Christians to mature Christians, we must learn discernment. We must train our consciences, our senses, our minds, and our bodies to distinguish good from evil.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 5:12-14)

“….sin starts with a lack of discernment.” (Dynamis 3/5/2015)

“Through human struggle, when aided by grace from God, men and women can attain what the Holy Fathers found, to live with God face to face. True, such is not common, although we are created for such relationships with the Lord. Largely, discernment is a lost ability… through a spiritual sense we will be able to discern if we are sincerely striving to become Christlike.”(Dynamis 6/24/2013, Sacramental Living)

“In this era of blogging, face-booking, twittering and self-publishing, everyone who chooses to have a “voice”…easily can, which is good in many ways; however…because so much information is available in so many forms, discernment of what is truth and what is not can prove difficult…true wisdom or discernment requires the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit.” (Sacramental Living, Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 2:13)

“…it is a good idea to use the God-given faculties that we have of intelligence, curiosity, and reason to discern truth as best we can.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

“If we live sacramentally [e.g., worship, Holy Communion prayer, Bible study, giving], our discernment will grow greater over time and we will know God’s continual presence.” (Sacramental Living)

#BishopJohnMichaelBotean #SacramentalLiving #FoundationStudyBible #LifeApplicationStudyBible #Dynamis #SacramentalLivingBlog #DavidBeck #StJohnChrysostom #LewisBSmedes #MetropolitanPhilipSalibaandFrJosephAllen