June 7, 2012
The excellent Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington DC has written a post, Six Principles of Discernment which helps answer the question, “What would God have me do?” We are now in the time after Pentecost when we spend the greater part of the liturgical year celebrating the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and salvation history, which makes Msgr. Pope’s post worthy of bookmarking and returning to often.
In my own life I’ve seen the need to be in perpetual discernment. Something is always coming up where I need to check and double check and triple check what God wants. I’ve said this to friends: just because we can do something does not mean we ought to do it. This little rule of mine can apply from little things all the way to great things.
Just because I can play the piano doesn’t mean that I ought to disturb the household at 2:00 in the morning rendering my version of Scott Joplin rags or Chopin waltzes. Just because a scientist/biologist can take embryonic stem cells and use them to find a cure for something does not mean he ought to. In both examples we can make a great argument under the virtues of charity and justice alone that God does not want this.
At the end of Msgr. Pope’s post he included a video of one of his sermons in which he discusses the discernment that distinguishes God from the idols and errors of this world. It is so refreshing to hear a priest speak unequivocally about what is acceptable and what is unacceptable in God’s eyes, so I am posting it here, too.
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R. Now and forever!
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