Listen to the Holy Spirit

North Texas Catholic
(Aug 10, 2023) Faith-Inspiration

Parishioners of St. Teresa of Calcutta attend Mass on July 30, 2023 at John M. Tidwell Middle School. Their current worship space is not large enough to seat 150+ worshippers, which is the average Sunday Mass attendance. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“[The Holy Spirit] is like a sunbeam whose grace is present to the one who enjoys Him as if He were present to such a one alone, and still He illuminates land and sea and is mixed with the air." ― Basil the Great

Recently, my oldest son, aged 11, was telling me of all his grand plans for next year: plans to raise chickens; plans to sell plants and fresh eggs and save for a horse; plans to join scouts, the 4-H youth club, basketball, baseball, track and field, cross country, and weightlifting! I listened for quite some time, internally debating if I should discuss with him that his plans are not quite realistic, or if I should let him learn for himself as the year begins to unfold. 

It occurred to me that this experience is not dissimilar to what God hears when we discuss our plans with Him! But, if we simply listen and follow and trust in Him, our lives can be opened wide to so much more than we ever considered possible. 

When my husband took a job that moved us from a suburb of Oklahoma City to Wichita, Kansas, I was both excited about the adventure and scared of where it would take our family. Much to my surprise, this endeavor took our family to a beautifully Catholic community, spilling over with lovely neighbors and friends. This move provided me with friends who would engage in true Christian friendship, challenging me to grow and to learn more about our Catholic faith, and allowing me to see what it looks like to really live the faith, every single day.

I had come to love this new location and very much planned to spend the rest of my life in Wichita. But, just as I had settled in Wichita, my husband took a job that would move us to a small town outside of Fort Worth!

The only way I can explain my calm demeanor while leaving everything I had grown to love so much is to say that I had come to trust in the Holy Spirit and in God’s plan for my life with so much certainty that I could not be shaken. I knew there was a reason I was to move. 

That level of certainty is a skill that requires practice!

So, how do we listen to the Holy Spirit in today’s world? How can we find the calm among the daily grind, or the hustle and bustle, or the busyness of modern life?

The three ways that I recommend are constant prayer, remaining open, and receiving the sacraments regularly. 

Pray without ceasing! Whatever we do in our days, we pray first! In my home, it is a part of our rule to “pray before.” Pray before breakfast, before beginning the work of the day, before lunch, before pulling out of the driveway. In this way, we dedicate our entire day to God.

When I wanted to incorporate taking the kids to daily Mass, I went onto and wrote down all the Mass times for the week that might work for us, and then I would remain open to going.

Some days, most days at first, it never happened. But slowly, we fell into a habit of attending daily Mass at least one weekday each week. I also incorporated regular confession and Adoration into our schedule, one at a time. In this way, the habit of remaining open came very easily, as I began putting it into practice very simply.

God’s plan for my time in North Texas has begun to reveal itself to me, ever so slowly, and ever so surely, as His plan always will. And I suppose when my son begins to tell me of his plans, it is part of my vocation to direct him to the Holy Spirit and teach him of the peace that is there for all who choose to listen. 

By Katie Leonard

Faith, God's plans, trust God, Oklahoma City, Wichita Kansas, pray, Basil the Great, trending-english