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Apr 21, 2022

Be My Guest: Signs from God, Fear in Discernment, and Patience with Fr. Gregory Pine

Fr. Josh Johnson

In this episode, Fr. Josh and guest Fr. Pine discuss signs from God, what to do with fear in discernment, and how to be patient with someone who is indecisive. Fr. Pine also shares about his new book: Prudence: Choose Confidently, Live Boldly.

Snippet from the Show
Sometimes the Lord prompts us to ask for a sign, and sometimes the Lord asks us to trust and to choose.


Shownotes

Glory Story (2:35)

Signs from God…or Not (5:15)

Hi Fr. Josh! I have a question about signs from God. In my Catholic circle of friends, there are a couple of people who talk a lot about waiting for a sign from God when they are trying to make big decisions. One of them also talked about something to do with a novena to St. Therese where if the answer is “Yes” somehow roses are going to show up on the last day of the novena. I totally believe that God can give us signs but I’m a little unsure how you can tell what’s from God and what’s not? Also, maybe you can explain the roses and St. Therese thing? Thanks!
-Michael 

Fear in Discernment (10:26)

Hello father! I’m an avid listener of your podcast ever since I stumbled across it 3 years ago. Your show has helped me find my way back to God slowly, but surely. Thank you for all your effort, it is a blessing for me as well as the many others listening. 
My question is this, how do I discern my vocation? Truth be told, it scares me. Ever since this fear came into my mind almost 2 years ago, I’m unable to pray about it peacefully. I feel I may be called to marriage but I’m afraid of 2 things, choosing the wrong spouse and commitment to said spouse for the rest of my life. Whereas religious life scares me because of the sacrifices I’ll have to make and being away from my family. 
I’ve tried letting go and focusing on the present, trusting in God but I go into a spiral when these thoughts arise. I’m afraid I might just keep putting it off and never actually choose anything. I really would appreciate your help and your prayers. Thank you.
-Anonymous

Patience with Indecisiveness (19:40)

Hi there, Fr.! Thanks so much for all that you do. I have a question about decision making. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and something that I struggle with is patience when he is making decisions. He is really indecisive and overthinks things a lot. I want to be patient and supportive, but I’m not really sure what the best way to do this is. I don’t want to constantly make the decisions for us. I want us to work together and talk through our decision making, but it can get really frustrating when he can’t seem to get to a final decision. Thanks for any advice!
-Mary

Check out Fr. Gregory Pine’s new book: Prudence: Choose Confidently, Live Boldly here.


Resources


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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  • With regard to the person struggling with discernment, My experience has been that one cannot have too much information, BEFORE making one’s decision and trust in God must enter the picture very soon.

    When I was 23 years of age and at the beginning of my two year stint as an army draftee, God presented me with the chance of a lifetime. I was a guy who had only had only been on a handful of dates, never kissed a girl and had no thoughts of any such thing, since I had 18 months of service left and was destined for duty in Germany, following my training.

    I was home for a break after basic training and my friend asked me if I would like to go on a double date. He asked my if I knew Bonnie and I did not. For a shy guy, who had never “tested the waters”, I was not an easy call. I reluctantly agreed to go along and my life would never be the same. In retrospect, I nearly shudder to think how easy it would have been for to have declined the offer, but God had a plan.

    Bonnie was nineteen, attractive and pleasant. We began the evening playing pinochle, but it was soon evident that it would not work out, since three of us knew the game and she did not, so the remainder of the evening was spent in conversation. As time went by, we learned that we shared a lot of important views of the way life should be lived. In my limited time on leave, we had about three dates and it was time to return to my unit. I sensed that I had met someone special and was in a tough spot, having to leave her behind.

    On my way back to my post, I was nearly in a panic, wondering how I would have a chance with her. The answer, the only answer, since I was the days before cellular phones was to write to her, which I did, every day for 18 months and, thank God. She wrote back to me all those months. SHE WAITED FOR MY RETURN, and we then had an 18 month courtship, during which time we discussed our views with regard to just about everything we could think of.

    We had plenty of troubles along the way, such as parents on both sides who disapproved, especially when we announced our engagement. Her dad said, “It ain’t gonna work!” and her mother was full of disapproval, as well. My dad did not say much, but my mother was very outspoken in her disapproval, since Bonnie was “stealing her boy”. All of this caused Bonnie to be kicked out of the house by her mother and she rented an apartment and we were finally wed in church, with the only attendees being the priest, my mother, my dad and her mother (her dad went fishing that day).

    We had 55 great years together, raising two wonderful girls, who both married good men and have given us five equally wonderful grandchildren and Bonnie died of a sudden brain hemorrhage. She had been a Methodist when we married, but, after 40 years, she went through RCIA and was accepted into the church. She lived only 8 hours after the attack, being unconscious the whole time. I called our priest at about 3:00 AM and he came to administer the sacrament. When he finished the prayers, saying the last word, Bonnie stopped breathing. Father was astonished and said he had never experienced such a thing.

    I have not mourned, but, instead have spent the last many months thanking God for all the blessings he poured out on us in our lives together. How could I be sad, when I know she left this earth in God’s friendship? The example of His providence was so clear as to be unmistakable.

    This is my story of how I think one should discern, listening to all one hears, make the best decision, based upon the information taken in and then commit to and believe in one’s decision, all the while living and accepting God’s providence.

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