Pope Francis shared a spiritual life hack for discernment at his general audience yesterday: the “spiritual life, too, has its passwords.” Source: CNA.
Just like on one’s computer, where “we know how important it is to know the password in order to get into the programs where the most personal and valuable information is stored,” the Pope said that discernment requires unlocking “the passwords of our heart”.
Pope Francis underlined that “self-knowledge” is key to discernment. When discerning whom to marry or whether one is called to be a priest or religious sister, the Pope said it is important to know what one’s heart is most sensitive to protect oneself from temptation.
He said the devil “knows these passwords well, and it is important that we know them too, so as not to find ourselves where we do not want to be”.
“Temptation does not necessarily suggest bad things, but often disordered things, presented with excessive importance,” the Pope said.
“They can be, for example, degrees, careers, relationships, all things that are in themselves praiseworthy, but towards which, if we are not free, we risk having unrealistic expectations, such as the confirmation of our worth. … From this misunderstanding often comes the greatest suffering, because none of those things can be the guarantee of our dignity,” he said.
Pope Francis recommended the practice of an “examination of conscience” to learn and note “what we give most importance to” in daily choices.
Above all, he said that it is crucial to understand that only the Lord truly “satiates the heart.”
The Pope’s reflection was part of a weekly catechesis series on spiritual discernment that he launched on August 31.