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  #1  
Old May 3, '12, 11:38 am
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

I see myself as someone who is very intuitive, bordering on psychic, if I may use that word. My mom also had the same gift. We can usually look at a person and discern if there is anything that is not quite right.

There are two things that have happened recently that makes me wonder how much trust we should put into that little small voice that tells us things - our discernment - our intuition. How much of it is us, and how much is God?

1) My mom is in the early stages of Alzheimers. For the first time in her life, her intuition is totally off. When taking her to the doctor, she "knows" she should not go into the doctor's office because something bad will happen to her. She says with a knowing smile, "You'll see."

2) Recently an acquaintance felt that she had offended me in some way because she hadn't heard from me in a little while. She was totally off because I had been meaning to get in touch with her. Nothing had happened that would have made her think that I offended her except for her intuition.

In a case like my mom's one can easily say that since she is sick, her intuition is off.

How many people have slight mental issues that are not even perceptible, but make enough of a difference to affect their intuition/discernment.

How can we know for sure if our barometers are actually calibrated, or if we are way off?

How much weight should we put on our feelings/six sense/intuition?

Thanks.
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Old May 3, '12, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

There are some who receive the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit. He is a truly reliable source. However, it is sometimes difficult even for those who have that gift to know whether a particular discernment is from God or from their own selves.

Trust, but verify your locutions.
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Old May 3, '12, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

One must use a very very good amount of caution.....
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  #4  
Old May 3, '12, 12:44 pm
AbideWithMe AbideWithMe is offline
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

That's a very good question, Truelight. I'm curious to see what others say, and if being a woman or a man has any bearing on how much a particular poster trusts her/his intuition.

I also have seen verifiable instances were a friend or relative had a distinct intuitive sense of something, someone, or some situation, and that intuition could be shown in reality to be off the mark. I tend to think there may be other factors---old associations and memories, perhaps---that can color our intuitive sense and distort it.

That being said, I do at least give ear to my gut instincts. More often than not I'll go with them, but cautiously, with an awareness of how they can be misleading. We are such complex creatures--especially us women---that I never fully trust any single faculty of mine without looking to the other faculties (and other people) for input.

I have been around horses almost my whole life. They're extraordinarily perceptive, such that many a skeptical horseman comes to think they have a sixth sense. I believe in a sense they do from uncanny things I've seen myself , even while carefully looking for ways to explain it away. Perhaps we humans have retained some of this unconscious perceptive ability ourselves to a greater or lesser degree.
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  #5  
Old May 3, '12, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

You don't (trust your intuition). One effect of Original Sin is the disharmony between body and soul. It is for this reason that Obedience is a capital virtue. In fact whenever Jesus refers to his Glory, he's referring to his Passion. It is the perpetual "fiat voluntas Tua"; Thy not my will be done. The Son, who is God, is glorified perfectly by obeying His Father.

This is where Spiritual Direction originates. If you do have a particular gift of intuition it is best served under a Spiritual Director. This include him telling you -not- to use it. Practically anything involved in the Church is under someone. All priests serve a bishop or abbot. All religious their superiors. The Bishops the pope. Even simple catechists or ministers of the sick served under and for their pastors.

If you wish to stop worrying go to your priest and talk to him about it. If you don't know any priest you can "water cooler talk" with, then you have a more serious issue than trusting your trait.
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Old May 3, '12, 7:35 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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Originally Posted by Skygor View Post
You don't (trust your intuition). One effect of Original Sin is the disharmony between body and soul. It is for this reason that Obedience is a capital virtue. In fact whenever Jesus refers to his Glory, he's referring to his Passion. It is the perpetual "fiat voluntas Tua"; Thy not my will be done. The Son, who is God, is glorified perfectly by obeying His Father.
Thanks for your input Skygor.

How do you see obedience tying in with discernment? Let's say for example, I plan on going on a weekend trip, but I feel a strong sense that I should not go. What if God is giving me a warning. If I listen, wouldn't that be obedience?

Quote:
This is where Spiritual Direction originates. If you do have a particular gift of intuition it is best served under a Spiritual Director.
Now mind you, I am not talking about private revelation or anything. In the example I gave above, how would that be best served under a Spiritual Director? T
Quote:
If you wish to stop worrying go to your priest and talk to him about it. If you don't know any priest you can "water cooler talk" with, then you have a more serious issue than trusting your trait.
I'm not worrying.
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Old May 3, '12, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

I strongly caution against giving too much credence to such. Please address this with a Spiritual director.
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  #8  
Old May 3, '12, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
I strongly caution against giving too much credence to such. Please address this with a Spiritual director.
What am I addressing exactly?

I know that I started the original post with the fact that my mom was intuitive and I am as well, but its not about me.

I'm asking a general question.

My point is that I'm beginning to feel that we should actually focus less on intuition.
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Old May 3, '12, 7:52 pm
SilverGracie SilverGracie is offline
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

I suggest speaking to a spiritual director specifically about learning how to discern. As you become more adept at this process, you will probably have a better understanding of when to trust your intuition and when not to.
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Old May 3, '12, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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How do you see obedience tying in with discernment? .... In the example I gave above, how would that be best served under a Spiritual Director?
This applies for all spiritual affairs, matters, etc. including something as simple as "how do I stop arguing with my mother". By going to another person and obeying what they say you are surrendering your Free Will to another. This is the virtue of Obedience. In Spiritual Direction you go to another to discuss, share, and receive advise about your relation with God. When you Obey your Spiritual Direction you are obeying God. Your Will for God's Will. This happens all the time already in the sacrament of Penance.

Basically you just make an appointing with your priest friend. Chit chat about what you want to discuss in this thread. Then "do whatever he tells you (Jn 2:5)." It's that simple. Of course this requires a very large about of trust, which is more commonly known as Faith. In your examples you are best served by a Spiritual Director because you and he are going to pray, discuss, think, and listen together. At point it's in God's hands and He certainly knows how to handle the situation.
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Old May 3, '12, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
How do you see obedience tying in with discernment? Let's say for example, I plan on going on a weekend trip, but I feel a strong sense that I should not go. What if God is giving me a warning. If I listen, wouldn't that be obedience?
Pray and ask God to give you peace about one or the other. If you find you have peace with the trip but not the locution, then you should go. If you have peace about the locution but not the trip, you should not go.

Quote:
Now mind you, I am not talking about private revelation or anything. In the example I gave above, how would that be best served under a Spiritual Director?
A spiritual director can serve as a sounding board as you discern your next step. Hopefully, he would also have sufficient insight into the situation or your personality to guide you quickly and accurately.
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  #12  
Old May 4, '12, 4:25 am
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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Originally Posted by SonCatcher View Post
Pray and ask God to give you peace about one or the other. If you find you have peace with the trip but not the locution, then you should go. If you have peace about the locution but not the trip, you should not go.
That was just a hypothetical.


Again, it is not about me, but what I'm gathering from the answers here, if someone feels they are sensing things about people, they should present it to their spiritual director? What of asking God for guidance?

Like if a teen brings a young man home and the mother feels strongly that the teen may be trouble, this is something one would bring to a spiritual director?

Again, this is a hypothetical.
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  #13  
Old May 4, '12, 5:56 am
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

Your talking premonitions in hypo. sense. What happens is your mind interacts with the universe which it is not subjected to in the flesh. For as we know this isn't but a stage, a process which we are pilgrims in, the valley of tears.

Repetitive situations also bring about a repetitive response in the unconscious, so you have to understand this may well be part of it.

You should find a good Spiritual Director, and talk with a few, many are very good but there's also that connection their which leads to greater enthusiasm, interest and understanding, like any great teacher which affects us.

As far as discernment in good/evil this beomes yet more complex. This is always occuring within the mind. Desolation and Consolation, which the Lord allows in the purification process. St Ignatius of Loyola would be a good source here.

Here are a couple of Signs.


If a person has had visions, locutions or other intimate contact with God, it is unlikely that person will WANT to do anything BUT be with God in Heaven. The contact which occured becomes a living testimony to itself, the truth of the contact is revealed in time thus confirning the...well whatever it exactly was, Locution, Vision, possibly just a dream which you immediately understood was different than a normal dream involving divinity.

Fr Mitch Pacwa, SJ states that certain people of God's choosing are given these special graces in order to "inspire the rest of us". For example most of the saints had these special graces.

And thats exactly what it is immediately imposed Grace. For whatever reason the Lord willed this to happen in accord with his will. Time and discernment show the truth thus the deeper understanding.

Course I always talk The Holy Rosary/daily, which is, as the Blessed Mother said to St Dominick, a "Sign of Pre-destination". There are again, so many graces which are given through the Rosary that again, the individual who faithfully prays it daily will likely go to Heaven because will want to say "Yes" to God. And the great thing is praying the Rosary daily is something everyone can strive to do... it not only does a lot of good for you but also for the world as it's an extremely powerful prayer. So again we enter into your reality in this physical world and a universal reality of Gods.

However this many not lead to what in essense we are talking [though the daily prayer life will raise your conscious level] one will see the path which coincides. What does exist in "everyone" is consolation/desolation, which is valleys and hills. Its the vioce in your head which is saying "I actually feel the presence of God with me, I feel the light and see" as opposed to "Whats the use, I'm just a terrible soul and I really am wasting my time with all this effort" Bad days, good days, after the bad must come the good. Often its hard to see what is counter to your conscious is not of God.

All this is of course a path which is enlightenment in the Kingdom of God.

Prayer in truth which may start as repetitive then becomes meditative yet still vocal, at some point takes a deeper step to contemplative. Thus vocal is the initial from of then mediatative, then contemplative. Which then becomes spending time with a close friend whom we love. Thus Union with the Lord whom we know Loves Us. The practice though often sought in instant gratification and as viewed this way leads to fustration, is a time process which draws us deeper and deeper into the intimate constant relationship of the soul becoming the Lords which lives in us.

Its like playing an instrument, from the on-set think "Wow I feel something special here I want to be part of" Then you pick up the instument and immediately understand how miserably inferior you are. Like a righty deciding to write left today. But you set out on the journey of practice/prayer in Faith, and as time elapse's you develope the virtue of patience and thus better understanding, and in a word proficient. You become interactive with the Supernatural world by communicating constantly with the Lord, through this is the understanding of just how inferior we are to the infinate, and the constant awareness of sin. For the Soul wants to do nothing to displease the Lord, but at the same time clearly understands you are in this Valley of Tears. Land of Exile a pilgram.

Don't know if any helped. if not, oh well, my prayers are with ya. I would listen very carefully to the inner mind. However only in light of the Catholic Conscious mind. Which in truth I have found it always coincides with anyway. Otherwise a Red Flag is apparent. Even when I wasn't following strict Catholicism, I always felt that connection, felt I was lead. The solid footing in Catholicism just illuminated the path and my conviction.
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  #14  
Old May 4, '12, 7:39 am
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
if someone feels they are sensing things about people ...
Discernment takes many forms. I echo what others have said about St. Ignatius and his teaching on discernment ... especially with regard to major life decisions.

There are also many day-to-day type decisions that require a different kind of discernment. It is not uncommon for spiritual people to develop a heightend sense of intution ... in fact it is one of many fruits of contemplation. Spontaneous thoughts toward little acts of love will often pop into one's mind. It is good to obey these promptly ... cheerfully ... generously. In these situations, thinking and analyzing actually destroys the interior prompt or impulse toward charity. As St. Teresa said, "the important thing is not to think much but love much." What I'm talking about here is the art of living in the present moment and responding to inspiration as it is given. Fr. de Caussade's "Abandonment to Divine Providence" is a wonderful guide for discernment of this type.

Recollected souls will also sometimes experience what St. John of the Cross teaches as successive locution ... namely, inspired thought. This too is a common fruit of contemplation and is one of the principal means by which the Holy Spirit teaches us. That having been said, we need to be cautious with regard to such inspired thought ... especially if we feel moved to do some specific act (here St. Ignatius is particularly helpful). The reason: Divine inspiration comingles with our natural human thought. We filter what is recieved with our interior faculties ... which means we often read the situation wrong ... eventhough we are at the same time inspired.

So ....

Getting to your point about insight into other people.

Again, we need to be very cautious here too as St. John of the Cross amply shows. Recollected souls will often gain insight into people and situations. This is because living in the present moment teaches spiritual souls to become very in-tune with their surroundings. But we need to realize what we're picking up on in a heightend way are externals: body language, evidence of mood shifts and so on. We learn to adapt to these subtle shifts in our environment with deep empathy. And the more unitive among us are able to extract some small good through application of their intuition ... even in difficult situations.

But rarely, if ever, does one really have a grasp on the interior motivations and intentions of another. We may fully recognize WHAT they are doing but should never presume as to WHY. This, as St. John of the Cross teaches, is never more true than those times we think we've been give some sort of insight into another ... even when it is born of very deep prayer.

Hope something in here helps,
Dave
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Old May 4, '12, 7:49 am
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Default Re: How Much Should We Trust our Intuition/ Discernment?

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Again, we need to be very cautious here too as St. John of the Cross amply shows. Recollected souls will often gain insight into people and situations. This is because living in the present moment teaches spiritual souls to become very in-tune with their surroundings. But we need to realize what we're picking up on in a heightend way are externals: body language, evidence of mood shifts and so on. Rarely, if ever, does one really have a grasp on the interior motivations and intentions of another. We may fully recognize WHAT they are doing but should never presume as to WHY. This, as St. John of the Cross teaches, is never more true than those times we think we've been give some sort of insight into another ... even when it is born of very deep prayer.

Hope something in here helps,
Dave
This is an excellent point and one I have been thinking about.

Even people who Who arenít the least bit religious can be intuitive and that can come about through experience in reading body language and other signs. The danger is that as humans we are fallible and we can sometimes misinterpret those signs. An example I can think of is this:

It is said that when someone is making up a story they move their eyes to the left (opposite for left handed folks) and when they are remembering, they look to the right. Someone may naturally pick up on these things without even knowing the psychology behind it. So in a sense they become intuitive by learning to pick up these signs.

However, it is very possible to meet someone who does the opposite, which then means an incorrect interpretation.

So I am actually moving more towards the natural explanation of these things.
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