Saturday 7 January 2017

Serviam! - Philip Kosloski - A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will

A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will
Philip Kosloski
Philip A. Kosloski

This past year I read 5 books by Kosloski at this will be the fourth that I review. The first two on prayer, Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice and 3 Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life were available from Kindle. The next three: Serviam, Distractions and Horarium are available only through his website. Each of these three are excellent reads. They are each short guides on specific topics of the spiritual life. But the themes that run through all of Kosloski's writings are prayer and discernment. Both are vital topics to anyone who wishes to be growing in their personal spiritual life, and in their witness to the world around them. 

Many of us make hundreds of decisions every day. Many are trivial but again many are not. If we really want to make progress in our life either physically, spiritually or mentally we need to be making the correct small decisions over and over again. And yet so often we seldom really give them much thought.

The sections in this booklet are:
Introduction: The Journey of Discernment 
I. Jesus, I Trust in You: Building a Firm Foundation 
II. The Little Things: Following God's Will Every Day 
III. In the Stillness: The Best Place to Discern God's Will 
IV. Following the Good Shepherd: Characteristics of God's Voice 
V. A Fork in the Road: Which Path Should I Take? 
i. Additional Resources 

This book focuses on discernment for the spiritual life. And no matter what our spiritual calling; priest, religious, married, single we all must use discernment to live out that calling well.  As Philip Kosloski states: "There is no "once and done" when it comes to following God's will. It is a lifelong adventure, one that can take many unexpected twists and turns." So we should all be working at getting better at using our discernment! 

Kosloski always writs in a clear crisp manner. I am sure he could fatten up his books and booklets. But instead he writes with an economy of words. And in doing so his books, and this one in particular are great resources. This book will help us to learn how to pay attention, to seek God's leading and to follow where he leads so that we are using our gifts and talents. Kosloski wrote this book not just to help us reach our eternal home of Heaven but to find joy in the journey there by learning to listen and be of service. 

At the beginning of the second chapter Philip says: "The next step in following God's will (espeically in the "big" things, like vocational discernment for example) is by obeying God in the "little things" on a daily basis. If we are obedient in small things, we will be better prepared to follow God in the "big" things." And it is from learning to do the little things well and follow in them day in and day out that we will really accomplish good things for God. Phikip also has 7 points to recognise the voice of God and * for discerning the voice of Satan. 

The list of resources in the appendix is also a great tool. For this booklet was well researched and written, but even with that some of us might wish to go deeper. Overall this was another excellent read from Kosloski and I highly recommend it!

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