175. When, in God’s presence, we examine our life’s journey, no areas can be off limits. In all aspects of life we can continue to grow and offer something greater to God, even in those areas we find most difficult.
Our whole lives, beginning to end, depth and width, are given for us to play our part in God’s overarching plan of sanctification. We do withhold–I don’t think any of us manage the full gift, even saints. Yet we are engaged in an extravagance of barter: we give all of ourselves, and God does likewise. Thing is, what we get is far more that what we can possible dredge up from our own life and breath.
We need, though, to ask the Holy Spirit to liberate us and to expel the fear that makes us ban him from certain parts of our lives. God asks everything of us, yet he also gives everything to us. He does not want to enter our lives to cripple or diminish them, but to bring them to fulfilment. Discernment, then, is not a solipsistic self-analysis or a form of egotistical introspection, but an authentic process of leaving ourselves behind in order to approach the mystery of God, who helps us to carry out the mission to which he has called us, for the good of our brothers and sisters.
And again, discernment is not intended for personal growth as a separate thing from mission. We gain courage, hope, confidence, self-regard, and so forth so we can bask in the applause. The stage is far wider than the single exploits of any one of us.