What do you do when it feels like God is prompting you to do something? Using the example of Simeon from the Presentation of Jesus, Dr. Sri discusses how we ought to respond when prompted by the Holy Spirit. Dr. Sri gives three steps to help us prepare for, identify, and act on inspirations of God.
Snippet from the Show
“The Holy Spirit will always lead you to love and serve.”
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Simeon, a Biblical Hero
Simeon is a heroic figure in the Bible. Oftentimes, he is overlooked because what he did was not big or flashy. All Simeon did was say “yes” to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Simeon followed the inspirations of God and by doing so encountered Jesus Christ.
Simeon comes onto the scene in Luke 2. “Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25). The phrase “consolation of Israel” points to a passage that can be found in the book of Isaiah. The first part of the book of Isaiah is primarily filled with warnings for the people of Israel. Isaiah shares with the people of Israel that if they do not repent, they will be conquered and made slaves. However, the latter half of the book of Isaiah, chapters 40-66, is filled with prophecies of God coming to rescue, comfort, and bring his people back to Jerusalem. Frequently, these chapters of Isaiah are referred to as the Book of Consolation. These chapters focus on the hope of a Messiah. Therefore, when Luke 2:25 speaks of Simeon as a man “looking for the consolation of Israel” it is clear that Simeon is looking for the Messiah. He is looking for the hope of Israel. This passage ends by saying “the Holy Spirit was upon him.” This reveals that Simeon was also a prophet.
The passage in Luke continues by saying “And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple” (Luke 2:26-27). Simeon went to the temple on that day and encountered Christ because he followed the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Imagine if Simeon had ignored those inspirations. It is so important for us to be like Simeon and say “yes” to God, to trust in God.
How to Follow the Inspirations of God
There are three steps that will help each person to become more docile to God’s plan in their lives.
- Ask the Lord to guide you each day. Pray that God will inspire you and that you will have the grace to say “yes” and follow those inspirations.
- Be faithful to the promptings you receive from God. Be generous with your time, your gifts, everything.
- Discern the promptings. Ask “Is this leading me to love?” God will never prompt you to do something that leads you away from your responsibilities and duties whether it be in relation to your vocation or a more minor commitment. The Holy Spirit will always lead you to love and serve.
Quote from Jacques Philippe
“God will grant us more inspirations if he sees us being faithful in fulfilling his will when it comes to us by other ways: the Commandments, the duties of our state in life, and so on. God’s will is expressed in many ways, and we know these without any need for special inspirations. We know God’s will as expressed in a general way through the commandments of Scripture, the teachings of the Church, the demands that are part of our vocation, and those that come from our job” (In the School of the Holy Spirit, 31-32).
In the School of the Holy Spirit by Jacques Philippe
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Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.
Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri. Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.
Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.