Learn To Discern

13 May

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”  ~ Albert Einstein

Einstein has a real winner today.  I think we all know people who have lots of education but who, sometimes, are dumb as a box of rocks.  Education for its own ends isn’t very useful.  Education for a purpose is useful because it will shape us, lead us, and guide us in our future.  Education for its own ends (simply earning degrees) interferes with real learning.

If you can agree with that — and I hope you do — then you can go the extra step with me and apply that to our own faith lives.  Some people “learn” things in the faith simply because they want other people to know what programs they have completed and the like.  However, the programs, classes, workshops and other things attended had little effect on their spiritual lives because they did not affect their spiritual growth.

There are many things that are open to us that can help us learn what the faith is all about.  There are also things that “educate” us in the faith that end up confusing us and keeping us from spiritual growth.  I know many people who are quite educated in Church history, Dogmatic Theology, Moral Theology, Patristics and the like who are very basic in the faith because they hide behind their education and have never developed spiritually.

We need to be able to discern what is good for us.  We need to discern what can increase our learning versus what can hinder us in the faith.  We can’t do it on our own.  That is why we rely on that gift of the Holy Spirit — Discernment — to help us in the faith.

Don’t try to learn something because it’s new or different.  Don’t try to learn something because it will impress others.  Learn because it will help you deepen your faith.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for the grace to discern the Lord’s will for you and the courage to embrace His will.