John 14:26: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
If the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and remind us of all the words of Jesus, then we must learn how to listen to the Holy Spirit. We must also learn how to discern his voice. Not all teachers that speak to our minds or in our heads is of the Holy Spirit. In times of decision and in crossroads, we hear many voices pulling us in different directions and asking us to do different things. We must learn to tell which voice belongs to the Lord and follow its directives. This will lead us to life, to joy, to healing and to grace. But many times, our hearts follow other voices, voices that do not belong to the Lord, voices that bring us to shame, to fear, to hatred and sometimes to despair. Saint Paul, in Romans 7:15, shares this dilemma with us: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate”. This is our struggle too.
St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches us that when we are moving from one sin to another and our lives seem to be a litany of sins, we must note that the voices that bring us remorse, that bring us tears or that bring us regret and a desire to make amend is of the Lord. But in this state, the voices that bring us pleasure or that encourage us postpone our recovery or repentance to when we are fully ready or adequately prepared is not of the Lord and should not be followed.
Furthermore, St. Ignatius also maintained that when we have decided to repent and amend our lives or have gone for the sacrament of reconciliation, we should note that the voices that discourages us, that makes us feel unforgiveable, that makes us doubt our resolve not to go back to sin is not of the Lord. In this case, the evil spirit fills us with discouragement, sadness, fear, boredom, and scruple. These voices should not be listened to. On the other hand, the voices that fill us with joy, with peace, with strength and with the courage to try again is of the Lord and should be listened to.
There are many teachers in the world but we must learn to listen to the Real teacher, the advocate that will teach us everything that the Lord ever said. May God give us the courage to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. He never stops teaching until we become the righteousness of God.
May God bless us with gift of the Holy Spirit!