Praised be Jesus and Mary!
We have reached the final part of Weeds among the Wheat: Discernment, Where Prayer and Action Meet by Thomas H. Green, SJ. For the past two days, we learned about the meaning and mechanics of discernment (Preparing the Soil & Sowing the Good Seed). Today, we shall, at last, discuss about A Mixed Harvest.
Discernment is only when we understand God’s will for us through the experience of desolations and consolations and the discernment of diverse spirits. All desolations come from the evil spirit but not all consolations are from the good spirit. The devil is tricky and deceitful. It is willing to mimic the voice of God and wait for the perfect timing to strike our Achilles heel. It will make false consolations to win us over. That is why we need to carefully look at every corner for the tail of the snake. For instance, the inspiration to pray at a time when we should be studying or working may not be a consolation from the Lord. God will not prevent us from obedience or fulfilling our obligations in life. Hence, we must gently resist. If it is really the will of the Lord, He will make it clear to us. Fortunately, the good spirit is also at work in our lives. St. Ignatius said, “If the beginning and middle and end of (our) thoughts are wholly good and directed to what is entirely right, it is a sign that they are from the good angel.”
The parable of the weeds and the wheat in the Gospel of Matthew presented the coexistence of good and evil (Mt. 13:24-30, 38-39). God does not wish to pull out the weeds as it may destroy the wheat. But, at the time of harvest, the weeds will be burnt, while the wheat will be sent to the barn. The devil can be a treacherous adversary, but it also proves that in the end, even quite against his will, these weeds (world, flesh, and devil) becomes real instruments of our sanctification. It is just like how Satan’s effort to destroy Job, to his dismay, actually led to Job’s holiness.
Therefore, we must humbly accept like St. Paul that the weeds has its value and purpose. For it is when we are weak that we are strong (2 Cor 12:9-10). We realize that we are truly dependent on God and that we are helpless without His grace and power. I saw a quote somewhere in Facebook recently saying that, “God without man is still God, but man without God is nothing.”
Finally, the greatest fruit of a life of discernment is the habit of “discerning love.” It can be an instinctive sensitivity on what will please the Lord in certain situations. This can be accomplished by loving and knowing more about our unchanging God. Only if we love Him enough can we (sometimes) habitually or instinctively know His will. It can also be the integration and simplification of our lives that our ultimate objective is salvation and the glory of God.
My Weeds among the Wheat series of posts presents only a summary of the 208-page book of Fr. Green. I recommend that you read the book to learn more about discernment. It’s a beautiful book.
Kristine G. Veneracion
P.S. Please like, comment, or share if you find this post useful. Thank you and may God bless you! c”,)k
Weeds of the Wheat by Thomas H. Green, SJ
Mt. 13:24-30, 38-39
2 Cor 12:9-10
The Book of Job