Spiritual Discernment

According to a famous quote by Saint Augustine, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Another famous theologian makes the same point by saying, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man that cannot be satisfied by created things."

When we fill the void deep within our hearts with the Blessed Trinity, we discover ultimate fulfillment in life. When we surrender our lives and hearts to God, we find ourselves called on a journey of growth and partnership with the Blessed Trinity through this lifetime and into eternity. The value of this relationship is described in Sacred Scripture as the treasure buried in a field from Matthew 13:44 and the pearl of great price from Matthew 13:45. When a man or woman enters into an authentic relationship with the Blessed Trinity, that person will do everything to maintain his or her relationship with Jesus, because Jesus is the ultimate Lover of our souls.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 260, “The ultimate end of the whole divine economy is the entry of God's creatures into the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity.” Jesus shows us how this is possible in John 14:23, by saying, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

Once a man or woman enters into an authentic relationship with the Blessed Trinity, the Lord will constantly call that person deeper into holiness and deeper into his service. A person can say "no" to God at any stage of his or her journey, but if we do, the peaceful presence of God that resides deep within our hearts will slowly disappear, leaving us empty and longing for an authentic spiritual connection. When we surrender our lives and hearts to God and continue to grow in holiness, obedience and service, God will be pleased to dwell with us, filling our hearts with his peaceful presence.

The requirements for walking in partnership with God is described in Sacred Scripture as the hard and narrow road that leads to everlasting life. When the faithful make a choice to travel the cheap and easy road of spiritual shortcuts, failing to make Jesus the Lord of our lives, we usually experience a tendency to start practicing unhealthy devotions. When the faithful try to fill the God-shaped vacuum deep within their hearts with anything other than the Blessed Trinity, the devil and his legions of fallen angels can take advantage of the situation and lead those people deeper into bondage.

The only way to break free from this bondage is a complete and total surrender of all unhealthy devotions, and to start spending the same amount of time and energy pursuing an authentic relationship with the Blessed Trinity. The process of a complete and total surrender for Catholics works the same as the detoxification process for New Age or occult practitioners. Before a New Age practitioner can become an authentic Christian, that person needs to denounce all their occult-like agreements with the devil and remove all crystals, tarot cards, magic charms, ritually charged objects and every other device they use for power and protection from their lives and hearts.

The same is true for Catholics who have spent a lifetime practicing unhealthy devotions. If a religious object is providing you with any type of power, protection, blessings, or favors from God, similar to a good-luck charm, amulet or talisman, then you will need to remove those objects from your life and heart, and offer that spiritual void deep within your heart to God. God is the only one who can offer true blessings and protection. False and deceptive forms of blessings and protection come from the devil and they will only lead a person deeper into bondage.