Practice ancient ways of praying to sensitize your soul to God’s voice. Get to know God’s voice better by practicing lectio divina, imaginative prayer, and the examen. Lectio divina involves reading a particular Scripture text slowly and meditatively several times while asking God to help you understand how it relates personally to you. Imaginative prayer involves reading a portion of the Gospels about Jesus’ life while imagining yourself in the scene and pondering how God may be calling you to change a specific attitude or behavior in light of the insights you receive. The examen involves taking about 15 minutes in the evening to reflect on your day and how well you did or didn’t respond to God’s calls during the day.

Develop the fruit of the Spirit to overcome your ego. Following your ego’s urges to focus on self-concern, self-image, self-gratification, or self-preservation can defeat your desire to pursue holiness. But developing qualities that the Holy Spirit wants you to grow in your life will give you victory over your ego and free you from slavery to sin so you can successfully pursue holiness. Fruit of the Spirit such as joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control will help you become a more selfless person. Fruit of the Spirit like love, kindness, generosity, and faithfulness will help you open yourself up to respond to God’s calls.

Adapted from This Sacred Moment: Becoming Holy Right Where You Are, copyright 2010 by Albert Haase. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., www.ivpress.com.  

Albert Haase, O.F.M. (Ph.D., Fordham University; M.Div., Catholic Theological Union), is a preacher, retreat leader and spiritual director based in the Chicago area. He serves as the director of the International Institute for Clergy Formation (Seton Hall University). He has also taught as an adjunct professor of spirituality at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois, and offers training in spiritual direction for the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. He is the co-host of Spirit and Life, a weekly radio show on the Relevant Radio network, and a former missionary to mainland China. You can visit Father Albert's website at www.albertofm.org.

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor.  You can visit her website at: http://whitneyhopler.naiwe.com/.