In today’s second reading, John offers us solid guidance on how to “remain” in God’s love (1 John 3:24). He tells us that one of the secrets to this is to listen to the movements of our hearts. That’s because the heart, or the conscience, is the place where the Holy Spirit speaks to us most intimately.
On one end of the spectrum, John talks about having “confidence in God (3:21),” which means the Spirit is pouring God’s love into us and reassuring us that we are following his commands. On the other end of the spectrum, our hearts can “condemn” us when the Spirit makes it clear that we have acted selfishly and taken advantage of someone (3:20). Surely we have all had experiences on both ends of this spectrum. John makes it clear that it’s not only a matter of our own consciences. Throughout his letter, he emphasizes the Holy Spirit’s work of writing his words in our hearts and helping us to follow them.
So what does this mean for us? It means that if the Holy Spirit is at work in our hearts, then we should take it seriously when we sense a tug in our hearts. We should pay attention to the movements of our hearts, because it may well be that the Spirit is trying to help us make the right decisions and draw closer to the Lord. It’s exciting to know that the Holy Spirit is constantly at work forming our hearts and helping us to make good decisions. He’s even at work when we aren’t aware of him! It’s reassuring to know that he won’t stop working in us until our every thought and action pleases Jesus and builds up his kingdom.
So try to remain in God’s love today. Try to listen to the movements of your heart. And try to put into practice whatever you think God is asking of you.