Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.
Given that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (John 15:26), it is important that we seek and heed His counsel.
How do we know the Spirit’s intention?
How do we listen to the Spirit with “ears that ought to hear“?
Here are some suggestions from Charisma News and a few from my puny experience:
1. Pray for wisdom: “Come, Holy Spirit, come!” With sincerity and humility, ask the Holy Spirit to counsel, enlighten and guide you, especially when you have just received Holy Communion or when you are before the Eucharist in the Tabernacle.
2. Listen to the Spirit: The Holy Spirit speaks to us in many ways —
- In the Bible: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” –2 Timothy 3:16-17. God is always speaking through His Word. Apply what you read in the Bible to your life and you’ll position yourself for truth and wisdom.
- As a still, small voice in our mind.
- As a flash of understanding.
- Through our conscience: “search your heart” (Romans 8:27).
- In a dream or vision: St. Joseph was told by an angel to “not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Matthew 1:20). St. Peter fell into a trance (see Acts 10:10). St. Paul had supernatural encounters, in the body and out of the body (see 2 Cor. 12:13). St. John wrote the entire book of Revelation based on a supernatural vision.
- Through our surroundings in our daily lives: If you keep a listening ear, you’ll discover that God speaks to you as you go about your everyday life. God spoke to Solomon through his practical experiences, an account of which is in Proverbs 24:30-34: “I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles covered its surface, and the stone wall was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it; I looked on it and received instruction: Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so your poverty will come like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.”
3. How do we know that it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us:
- By the message’s goodness: Remember that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Triune Godhead. He will never counsel you to do ill or harm.
- By its persistence: When the Holy Spirit wants you to do something, He can be very, very persistent!
- By your sense of peace: When you listen and heed His counsel, your heart, mind and soul will be at peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7.
May the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,