Listening to the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of the Age?

There has been a lot of talk at the Synod on Synodality about listening to the Holy Spirit to see where it is that the Spirit wants to guide the Church. But what is not being mentioned is just what, exactly, this means.

Furthermore, little has been said about how to distinguish within ourselves between the Holy Spirit’s authentic voice within us and other “spirits” that are not from God and which can lead us astray. There is instead a kind of vague concept of the Holy Spirit as a kind of oracular voice within us where a conflation takes place between my own feelings about my experiences and the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

Therefore, there is a grave danger that, in our culture, with its therapeutic view of the self as the creator of its own “truth” and a hyper-individualistic concept of the moral conscience as the generator of its own moral truths, that the category of individual “experience” is being given more weight than it deserves.

There is at the synod much talk about the need for “discernment” in all of the synodal conversations. However, no spiritual methodology has been given for a proper Catholic understanding of how one does this. It almost seems as if the discernment spoken of is its own end and its own justification.

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