With whatever you are feeling, thinking or wanting, ask: where does this feeling come from?
According to Vatican News, Pope Francis made this recommendation during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his first of 2020, as he reflected on today’s Gospel according to St. John, which spoke about staying in God.
Recalling today’s Gospel, the Pope highlighted that whether and how much we “stay in God,” depends on how much we value and listen to the Holy Spirit in our midst.
However, he lamented, many just think of the Holy Spirit as a dove.
Yet, the Pope reminded, that when we cling to the Holy Spirit and watch for guidance, then we have a guaranteed way of staying with God.
Francis then went on to give a practical test to those gathered in his chapel, to help keep them on track this year to come, namely: to “test the spirits to see whether they come from God.”
“The Apostle John,” Francis said, “gives us advice: ‘Dear ones, do not give faith to every spirit (that is, to every feeling, to every inspiration, to every idea), but test the spirits, to test whether they really come from God or from the world.'”
“But what is this to test the Spirit?” he asked, responding: “It is simply this: when you feel something, you feel like doing something or you get an idea, a judgment of something, ask yourself: ‘is this what I feel from the Spirit of God or from the spirit of the world?'”
Francis then told them to consider what they feel “comes from the spirit of the world or from God?”
“How do you do this?” he recognized many may ask themselves.
The answer, he suggested, is “once, twice a day, or when you feel something that comes to your mind,” ask yourself: ‘This thing that I feel, that I want to do, where does it come from?’ ‘From the spirit of the world or from the Spirit of God?’ ‘Will this make me good or throw me towards that road of worldliness which is unconsciousness?'”
Francis also lamented how many just use the New Year to spend money, perhaps alluding to January being the month of sales for Italy, beginning around the Epiphany, where many go shopping.
Pope Francis concluded, inviting faithful to “remain in the Lord and pray to the Holy Spirit, so that he will make us remain in the Lord and give us the grace to distinguish the spirits, that is, what moves within us.”