Tuesday 14 March 2017

A Practical Guide to Discern God's Will - Philip Kosloski

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

ASIN B01N703P63

This books a revised and updated version of Serviam: A Practical Guide to Discerning God's Will, I loved it the first time I read it, and I love this revised version. 

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

The introduction begins with this statement: "Discernment is a lifelong process. There is always something to discern. Even after finding your vocation in life, there will be numerous decisions that will need to be made, both big and small." Kosloski also states: "In the end, whatever your state in life there is no "once and done" when it comes to following God's will. It is a lifelong adventure, a journey that can take many unexpected twists and turns." And the book goes on to expand upon those points. 

In the first chapter Philip says: "In order to discern God's will in your life, one must build a firm foundation of trust." And he expands upon that by saying "One of the most necessary building blocks to create this firm foundation of trust is fostering a genuine love of God. By developing a lasting love of God, we will be predisposed to trust Him and His divine will." One of the key focuses in this book is about being present; about spending time with God in the here and now, not an excessive focus on the future and not constantly looking back on the past. And the third chapter on Stillness really spoke to me. It is so easy in this day and age to constantly be at the beck and call of devices. To Turn off and spend time alone with God. 

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. 

Having done a side by side comparison between this edition and the original, there are not a lot of extensive changes. But there are a number of smaller changes that when combined make this book worth a revisit if you have read the first edition. And if you have not, then I can state it is an excellent read.

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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