Monday, April 30, 2012

Fr Fio Mascarenhas S.J. On Discerning Spirits

The Holy Spirit by Giaquinto, 1750s.
– the following are some general signs
  1. Truth. If a person maintains opinions that are manifestly against revealed truth, the infallible teaching of the Church, or proven theology, or philosophy, or science, it must be concluded that he/she is deluded by the devil or is the victim of excessive imagination or faulty reasoning.
  2. Docility. Persons moved by the Holy Spirit accept with true peace the advice and counsel of those with authority over them. They manifest sentiments of humility and self-effacement.
  3. Discretion. The Holy Spirit makes the person discreet, prudent, and thoughtful in all his/her actions. There is nothing of precipitation, frivolity, exaggeration or impetuosity; all is well balanced, edifying, and full of calmness and peace.
  4. Peace. The person experiences a profound and stable serenity in the depths of his/her spirit.
  5. Purity of intention. The person seeks only that God’s will be done and that God be glorified in all that he/she does, without human interest or motivation out of self love.
  6. Patience in suffering. No matter what its source, or whether or not it is justly received, the soul bears it with equanimity.
  7. Simplicity. Together with veracity and sincerity, this is never lacking in those who are truly motivated by the Spirit. Any duplicity, arrogance, hypocrisy, or vanity must be attributed rather to the devil.
  8. Freedom of spirit. First of all there is no attachment to any created thing, even the gifts received from God. Second, all is accepted from the hands of God with gratitude and humility, whether it be a question or consolation or trial. The opposite would be done in the case of those with a rigid and unyielding will, who are controlled by self love.
  9.  Link (here) to the full article.

No comments: