How do you tell it’s God — the Holy Spirit — speaking to you? When are we sure He is operating within us?
As a blogger noted, “When contemplating a decision we are about to make, if our hearts are peaceful, then the Holy Spirit may be moving us in that direction. If our hearts are anxious, then it could be a sign that the Holy Spirit wants us to reconsider our situation. Never cease to call upon the Holy Spirit and open your heart to whatever he may have to tell you.”
Connect your heart with the Sacred Heart.
We have to be careful in this domain. For deceptive spirits are more than eager to plant messages in your mind, and when we’re not discerning, we can fall into trouble.
Those who lack humility (who are sure they immediately know every word that sails through their thoughts is from God) often deceive themselves (and, if they are proclaiming “messages,” deceive others). We have to invoke the Holy Spirit on a constant basis to discern if it’s the Holy Spirit speaking to us! “Come Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit.”
It can be interesting to sit around listening to your internal dialogue. It also may contain valid supernatural communication — heavenly communication.
But in general, one has to go by the “fruits,” and as we all know, fruits of the Spirit include joy, peace, and kindness. Harsh rhetoric (and Youtube videos) do not come from a person who is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Nor do bellicose, disrespectful, or disobedient thoughts. Those who cause division may be “religious,” but likely they are not operating in the Holy Spirit (and so they cause followers to stray).
The devil seeks to send thought-forms around and around in our heads to the point of madness (and deception). They are like those banners pulled by small airplanes. When a person has a new thought, he creates what cognitive scientists call a “thought worm,” and we have to be careful not to let a negative one burrow deeply into our cogitation.
Did you know that psychologists claim the average person has about 6,200 thoughts a day — and at least 5,600 of them are repetitive? Think of this! Others say it’s 12,000 to 50,000 — and that eighty percent of them — 80 percent! — are negative.
What kinds of negative thoughts do we harbor?
Fear of the future.
Regrets over the past.
Resentment (especially resentment!).
You dwell on how people upset or hurt you.
You can’t get rid of a regret. Or guilt.
How often has some sort of negative thought entered your head and then continued to worm deeper, to repeat, because we gave it the opportunity to?
If we don’t have self-control, a positive attitude, and love, we are not filled with the Spirit. Self-control includes control of what we are thinking. Purge wrong cerebration and the Holy Spirit finds the room to operate.
It is the Holy Spirit Who so often is missing from the Church. There are homilies. There is theological talk of Him. There are slogans (“Welcome Home”). But if there isn’t the actual feel of the Holy Spirit, a parish in its aridity will lose parishioners, especially the young.
They want to feel God working in their lives. And they can, when the Holy Spirit is properly invoked. It all starts with prayer. And more prayer. And self-evaluation before we evaluate others. This is a huge crisis in our time (since the Age of “Rationality”): how intellectual cogitation has supplanted genuine spirituality. The result has been cataclysmic. Few attend church to hear a college lecture or partake in dry rote prayer. To invoke the Spirit, the prayer has to be honest; it has to be earnest; it has to be truly felt; in other words, it has to come not from the mind so much as the heart.
[resources: Daily Meditations on the Holy Spirit]