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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Skills for the Contemplative Disciple: Seasons of the Soul (Part II of III)

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Skills for the Contemplative Disciple: Seasons of the Soul! (Part II of III)   Susan came for spiritual direction for the first time, after experiencing a spiritual awakening. When she prayed, God was richly present to her. She secretly wondered why other people struggled to pray. Brian, an awakened disciple for some time, yearned for the consolation of God in prayer. Periodically, God seemed... Read More

What is Spiritual Consolation?

Peter's Tears El Greco copy

Dear Father John, what kind of general advice should I give to a person who is experiencing a lot of consolation in their spiritual life? From what this person has told me in spiritual direction, this consolation is certainly coming from God. Is there any practical advice I should give this person? God gives consolation in order to strengthen us and draw us closer to himself, just as he allows desolation... Read More

What is the difference between desolation and aridity?

Dear Dan, what is the difference between aridity and desolation? Dear friend, this is a very simple but important question with a simple answer. Here are the two definitions and a brief reflection on the similarities and differences. DESOLATION. A temporary darkening of the mind and disturbance of the will and emotions, permitted by God to purify the souls of his followers. It may be caused by the... Read More

Consolation & Desolation… What are “spiritualized capital sins”?

Dear Father John, you used the phrase “spiritualized capital sins” in your post on consolation and desolation. I have never heard this idea before. What are spiritualized capital sins and how do they “attempt” to re-conquer the soul as we mature? We have to remember that here on earth we are members of the Church militant. We are in the midst of a battle. As we grow spiritually,... Read More

Consolation and Desolation… What does it really mean?

November 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Consolation/Desolation, Fr. Bartunek

Dear Father John, I know you wrote before about consolation and desolation in the spiritual life.  But I have a follow-up question.  When we experience some kind of desolation, how do we know where it’s coming from?  I mean, how do we know whether it’s really from God or not? This is a great question – and an important one, for Christians in today’s society. Consolation and Desolation: Grasping... Read More