In his catechesis at the Audience, Pope Francis reflects on how to tell if we are making the right decisions. He points to two elements: inner peace and remaining free.
(Vatican News Network) In order to determine whether the decision we made was correct, some important factors help to interpret it at a later time. On the morning of December 7, Pope Francis continued his catechism on spiritual discernment during his public audience on Wednesday, pointing out the above points.
According to the Pope, the signs in our lives can confirm whether the decisions we have made are correct. “One of the distinguishing marks of goodwill is the communication of a peace that lasts over time. This peace brings harmony, unity, passion and zeal,” he said.
For example, the Pope said, if a person decides to add another half hour to his prayers. Afterwards, he found that he lived better throughout the day, was less worried, was more attentive in his work, and had smoother relationships with people who were usually difficult. That’s the mark of a good decision. “Spiritual life is cyclical: a good choice benefits all aspects of our lives because it participates in God’s creative work”.
The Pope went on to mention that there are two elements that help us to discern the decisions we make. The first element is a feeling of “clear conscience” in life, usually a part of a larger plan.
The Pope cited the example of St. Peter’s Square, from where the foci of the two ellipses can see Bernini’s colonnades lined up perfectly. Likewise, when our day is organized and new energy is added, we know we are making a good decision.
In addition, another element of discernment in making good decisions is to be “free” about the decisions we make, to accept criticism of these decisions, and to seek to find God’s teaching in them. “It is not because the Lord wants to take away what is precious to us, but to live freely with it without attachment. Only God knows what is really good for us,” the Pope said.
Pope Francis further pointed out that possessiveness is the opposite of good intentions. Many cases of domestic violence are often caused by the desire to possess other people’s feelings. “We can only love with a free heart, which is why the Lord created us to be free, even to say no to him,” the pope said.
The Pope concluded by stating that “the fear of God is reverence for God”, which is an indispensable condition for receiving the grace of God’s wisdom (cf. De 1:1-18), which helps us to discern spiritually. “This awe drives out all fears, because it yearns for the Lord of all things.”
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