Monday, March 2, 2015

Personal Discernment

Discernment is known to be a spiritual exercise which is accompanied by fasting and prayer. Now that it is Lent, it is a good time to give up some worldly attractions, like extra food, and read the Bible and other spiritual literature. I’m re-reading the book by Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment of All Desire. He writes about the journey to holiness and goal of union with the Lord.

Martin chooses from the writings of seven Doctors of the Church, including St. John of the Cross, Catherine of Siena and Bernard of Clairvaux. These saints were known for the depth of their experiences with God. Martin elaborates on three stages of spiritual maturity: the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways.

Reading through the first time, I thought the book a little choppy, since Martin starts talking about one saint and then brings in the writings of others to support the point he is making at the time. But the reviews of his book on Amazon are stellar, and I thought I’d go through it again at a slower pace. I am finding that this does help in absorbing Martin’s explanations. The Amazon page, where you can get much more information, is here.

Our efforts to tell others about Jesus Christ are often seen by outsiders as tiresome. But the salvation He has offered us is toward a wondrous joy of a growing relationship with God. Among  the things Christians should do is to develop this love with the Lord, in conjunction with love for His people, and express these experiences to others.

May you have a blessed Lent and move along God’s path for you.