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A Recipe for Discernment

June 20, 2013
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I have just returned from 9 months in New York City at the United Nations.
Upon reflection, I feel like that amount of time was just enough to carry and incubate a new me. Not a completely different person, but somehow not quite the same.
I find the labour to be in the transitions. That (sometimes) awkward space between where you were and where you’re going. Mourning the loss of one thing while celebrating the birth of another. Sticking one foot in one door and having your hand rest on the threshold. Even more often, we don’t even know what’s ahead. These can be trying and difficult times, as we may not know how long this transition will last. When there’s no visible direction, no promise for a future, it’s tough to see that light. Passing through this space often enough, I’ve endearingly named it, “limbo-oh-you-again!”
So what should we do when we are looking for answers? Pray, talk to people, reflect, research...
And what do we actually end up doing? Going on Facebook.
But the Lord is providential this way - He knows my heart, and how to speak so I will listen. He knows what I need and want. Yes, He’ll even put things on Facebook for me to marvel at. Not three days at home in the isolated fields of Caledon, I read on a friend’s status:
“In between times... standing in the threshold of two different experiences, presents its own opportunities for grace.”
After sending up a quick thank-you to the Spirit for (lovingly) hitting me in the face, I recall one of my mentor’s advice for active waiting:
Pursuit. Go for it. Jump and leap in a direction that calls to you. If you really want the best option, God will want it for you too. If it’s worth the fall, take the plunge and do all in your power to make it happen.
Prayer. Time to ask for help. Formally ask for signs, informally chat with a saint. Ask others to pray for you, do a novena. Attend Mass and Adoration. Get all hands on deck - people will want to join you in this effort to fulfill God’s will! Use this time to be open, discern and listen.
Patience. My personal weakness. At this point, you must come to peace with knowing you’ve done all you can do. Leave the rest to God. He’s heard you, and He’s got your back. Let Him do His thing.
Repeat until successful. That next step is out there! If what you wanted doesn’t happen, have faith. God wouldn’t show you gold and hand you silver, He’s just concocting something better, (and He’ll take His sweet time doing it!) Don’t give up the first two steps, keep on being active in your waiting. Let Him surprise you.
I’ll be praying for your discernment!
This post comes to us from Leanna Cappiello, a former S+L intern and graduate of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario who recently served as an intern at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations.
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