Docility to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit is the only means to sanctity and salvation. The following words of Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden will help us to discern the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, Who always produces peace, clarity and obedience.
“My daughter, you can recognize both the Holy Spirit and the unclean spirit through seven signs:
7 Signs of the Holy Spirit
First, the Spirit of God makes a man deem the world worthless and consider in his heart all worldly honor as mere air.
Second, it endears God to the soul, and all delight in the flesh grows cold.
Third, it inspires him to patience and to glorying only in God.
Fourth, it stimulates the mind to be loving and compassionate with one’s neighbor and even with one’s enemies.
Fifth, it inspires him to all kinds of abstinence, even from licit things.
Sixth, it makes him trust in God in the midst of hardships and even to glory in hardships.
Seventh, it gives him the desire of wanting to depart and to be with Christ, rather than to prosper in the world and become soiled.
7 Signs of the Evil Spirit
The evil spirit has seven effects to the contrary.
First, it makes the world seem sweet, and heaven distasteful.
Second, it makes a man seek honors and forget about the meaning of his life.
Third, it arouses hatred and impatience in the heart.
Fourth, it makes him bold toward God and obstinate in his own plans.
Fifth, it leads him to make light of his sins and to make excuses for them.
Sixth, it inspires in him frivolity of mind and every carnal impurity.
Seventh, it inspires in him the hope of a long life and a feeling a shame about going to confession.
Guard your thoughts carefully, then, so that you do not get deceived by this spirit.”
(Taken from ‘The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden’, Book 4, Ch 23)
A Book Recommendation
Firstly, an exhortation to read (from St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church):
“St. Jerome says that when we pray we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us… In prayer, God hears our petitions, but in reading we listen to his voice… Good books supply the place of sermons. St. Augustine writes that good books are, as it were, so many letters of love the Lord sends us; in them he warns us of our dangers, teaches us the way of salvation, animates us to suffer adversity, enlightens us, and inflames us with divine love. Whoever, then, desires to be saved and to acquire divine love, should often read these letters of paradise.”
The book is, ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois.’ It can be read here (free and legally): https://archive.org/stream/workslouisofbloi00bloiuoft#page/n9/mode/2up
Venerable Louis of Blois (Blosius), a holy and learned Benedictine, was often praised by St. Alphonsus. His writings are among my favourite spiritual works. They are very inspiring, concise, practical and balanced.
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