Pope Francis continues his catechesis series on discernment at the Wednesday General Audience on 19 October, and urges each of us to examine the story of our life in order to discover the hidden footsteps of Jesus.
“Recounting the events of our life also enables us to grasp important nuances and details, which can reveal themselves to be valuable aids, hitherto concealed.”
Pope Francis offered that insight on Wednesday 19 October as he spoke to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.
Continuing his catechesis on the theme of discernment, the Pope focused his attention on how our life’s story can reveal God’s hidden actions.
“Our life is the most precious ‘book’ that is given to us, a book that unfortunately many do not read, or rather they do so too late, before dying.”
Truth dwells within
The Pope recalled St. Augustine’s reflections on the topic in his Confessions, in which the 5th Century Saint recounts how he realized that he had sought God outside of himself for many years before discovering Him within.
As the great Saint said, “Come back into yourself. It is in the inner self that Truth dwells.”
Pope Francis noted that we too often get stuck in self-condemnation and fail to see God working within us.
By rereading our own past, we can learn to set aside “toxic” habits and find the deeper meaning in the events of every day.
We are able, he said, to “notice other things, making it richer, more respectful of complexity, succeeding also in grasping the discreet ways in which God acts in our life.”
Uncovering the hidden silence of goodness
Pope Francis went on to say that even things which in the moment seem of little importance can reveal to us something deeper upon further reflection.
These events, he said, are like “precious, hidden pearls the Lord has sown” in our daily lives.
“Good is hidden, silent. It requires slow and continuous excavation. Because God’s style is discreet, it does not impose; it is like the air we breathe. We do not see it but it allows us to live, and we realize this only when it is missing.”
The more we reread our life’s story, added the Pope, the more refined our perception becomes, making it easier to discover God’s action in our lives.
Heart to heart talks
In conclusion, Pope Francis urged Christians to find someone to whom to tell our life’s story, which helps us enter into “one of the most beautiful and intimate forms of communication.”
The lives of the Saints offer another path to become familiar with God’s ways of interacting with His friends.
“Discernment is the narrative reading of the consolations and desolations we experience in the course of our lives,” concluded the Pope. “It is the heart that speaks to us about God, and we must learn to understand its language.”
With thanks to Vatican News and Devin Watkins, where this article originally appeared.