Discernment: Listen to the Tone

I speak regularly to a Spiritual Director.  She helps me discern God's voice in my life.  I started meeting with her years ago after going through the Saint Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with the Priest who confirmed me in the Catholic Church.  Funny side note:  One time I mentioned driving to go talk to her (my director) to my Mom who very nicely gave me a slightly pathetic, (but attempted sympathetic) look and cautiously asked, "Is she a counselor?  Are  you seeing a counselor?"  First of all, if I was, that would be fine so that made me roll my eyes inside, but this concept was very foreign to my Mom.  As it is to many people so now maybe I'm introducing the practice to you too.  Back to where I was going with this...

One thing she has taught me is to listen to the tone of the voice.  The voices that one "hears" internally.  Is it loving?  Is it condemning?  Those two right there will take you quite far.  Guess which comes from God? And where the other comes from.  Often, it's tricky, which again points to the evil one and not God.  God is not ever trying to trick us.

In the past years in the 'online' world of social media, we often heard a repeated message in many different quotes of "you are enough" and that was such a beautiful message that people were sharing.  Sometimes Satan got in and twisted it for sure, but there was a lot of truly good and loving posts by people encouraging others to know their value in the eyes of God.

Now, it seems the tone had definitely changed.  What I see and hear often is "you are not enough"  "you are wrong" "you should do more" etc.  Satan has come in and divided people.  He has divided those who truly are most likely on the same page.  People are being divided not on where we want to be, but on how to get there.  And there is almost always a condemning voice.  A "poking" as it were.  For those of you who have children, you may remember them poking each other to irritate each other.  Or perhaps they poked you, to get your attention. One of my kids poking me when they were little, I could handle, but this virtual poking is annoying.  I bet many of you have felt the need to poke back, right? (I fight the urge and know it's time to walk away from the phone/computer.)

We, as people, certainly may be divided in places where you need to stand strong.  For me that's in the area of human rights, the rights of the human embryo.  There is no compromise for me there.  What I'm talking about is the division in so many areas that are gray.  The divisions that are being stoked with sometimes aggressive and sometimes passive aggressive messages.  If you can discern the tone, you may know how and when to turn away.

My son said to me a number of years ago while he was college.  "I turn back to my opinion.  My opinion doesn't hate me."  And I laughed and thought how that puts something so complicated in to a simple form.  He by the way doesn't engage in political or controversial conversations.  

God may be calling you to take action, he may call you to vote a certain way, he may call you to just do your life the best you can.  But, that call will be loving, a drawing in, a drawing attention to, not an aggressive poke.


  1. Thank you for this beautiful reminder. Life is so full of pitfalls, more today than ever, and we forget where to turn for guidance. It's within us if we listen, but that requires silent contemplation and prayer, away from the noise. The evil one is alive and gloating over the divisions - let's not let that happen!!
    God bless you dear Jill.♥

  2. I'm also reminded of this: "If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts..."

  3. I appreciate this post. I also appreciate your son's words. :)


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