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I’m So Here for This, Lord

“Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will” (Responsorial Psalm).

I WANT to do God’s will. Really I do. But how can I know what that is? Well, I can’t claim to have this ALL figured out. But I’ve got three techniques that I use. . .

1) Rightly inspired.

If I want to do God’s will, a good place to start is by learning about folks who definitely had that box checked. The lives of the Saints have been an excellent source of inspiration to me on how radical  the submission to God’s will can be, and how different it can look from one person to the next.

2) Bless it or block it.

If I am presented with an opportunity, or a choice, or a crazy idea, I can immediately pray, “Okay, God, bless this or block it. If You want me to do this, help it happen. If You don’t, make it impossible.” Perfect, right? Except, in my life, things are almost never quite as blessed or blocked as I would like. For example, I recently got an idea for a significant new project that involved many complicated steps, the very first of which, oddly enough, was the procuring of four relatively commonplace items from the grocery store. I went to seven different stores, plus two locations to which my GPS sent me, which were not actually stores, all the while praying, “bless it or block it,” and was able to find exactly two of the four items. “Seriously God? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!” So, it’s not foolproof.

3) Direction, not just advice.

Today is the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, an amazing proponent of the universal call to holiness, especially among the laity, and specifically of spiritual direction. When the lives of the Saints and personal prayer aren’t enough—which is often—spiritual direction with a trusted priest or layperson has been indispensable to me in discerning God’s will.

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If you are discerning spiritual direction, this is a good place to begin.

Kendra Tierney is a forty-two year old mother of nine and wife of one living in and working on a big old fixer-upper house in Los Angeles. She’s a homeschooler and a regular schooler and is relishing the new freedom from carpooling that’s come with a sixteen-year-old in the house. Her new book, The Catholic All Year Compendium, Liturgical Living for Real Life, is here. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here.

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 24, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Thank you, Kendra. These are good points! I really like “Bless it or block it.” One thing I do in discerning God’s will in living my life is to prayerfully read the daily Mass readings. This helps me to know, love, and understand God better. As a result, I am more attuned to listen to His voice with more specific callings in my life. Then, it is up to me to follow through, with God’s help.

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 24, 2019 at 11:30 am

    You needed four commonplace items, and after driving to seven different stores, you were only able to find two of them? That was a total “block it”. 😀 Thank you for these practical tips! I can’t wait to apply them to my prayers.

  • Reply
    Jenna Hines
    January 24, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Lovely, Kendra! I love walking away from a devotion with a new tool for my kit: “Bless it or block it.”

    xx

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