Introduction to Discernment of Spirits

Introduction to Discernment of Spirits

This week Dan and Melissa explore Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s techniques for tackling the negative thoughts and lies that enter into our minds and lead us away from God.

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • What is the best way to expel the negative thoughts, lies, and/or feelings of depression that enter into our minds?DivineIntimacyRadioWithDan&Melissa
  • Reject the lies and negative thoughts and replace them with the truth from Scripture.
  • Saint Ignatius of Loyola presents a type of spiritual warfare to handle these lies called discernment of spirits.
  • Discernment is understanding the forces working for or against us and what to do with them.
  • Discernment of spirits is the ability to join God and fight the enemy with respect to our thoughts.
  • Saint Ignatius begins his rules for discernment of spirits by suggesting that we become aware of the lies, understand the source, and choose to reject or accept these forces.


  • EWTN Religious Catalogue – online
  • Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation
  • EWTN Global Catholic Radio
  • Philippians 4:7-8 – “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – USCCB Bible link
  • On Suffering – Prose by Dan Burke on
  • Romans 8:6 – “The concern of the flesh is death, but the concern of the spirit is life and peace.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” – USCCB Bible link
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 – “For, although we are in the flesh, we do not battle according to the flesh, for the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but are enormously powerful, capable of destroying fortresses. We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ, and we are ready to punish every disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Evagrius of Pontus: Talking Back
  • Ephesians 1:3-4 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him” – USCCB Bible link
  • Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” – USCCB Bible link
  • James 4:7-8 – “So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Divine Intimacy – A book of daily meditations by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen
  • John 16:33 – “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Navigating the Interior Life – Book on spiritual direction by Dan Burke
  • Consolation and Desolation…What are Spiritualized Capital Sins?Post on
  • Discernment of Spirits: Rule 1 – Next week’s show
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – “May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – USCCB Bible link
  • Questions? Send an e-mail to or call 818-646-7729. Please leave your name, location, and question(s).

What is Divine Intimacy Radio?

The Divine Intimacy Radio Show is a haven of rest and wellspring of spiritual life for those seeking intimacy with God and the enlightened path of Catholic mystical and ascetical wisdom. Every week, Dan Burke and Melissa Elson explore topics related to the interior life and Catholic teaching, including prayer, spiritual direction, meditation, contemplation, and holiness.

Divine Intimacy Radio Show and EWTN!

This radio show can also be heard every Sunday on EWTN Radio, Sundays at 6:30 am1:30 pm, and 11:00 pm Eastern time. We are grateful to EWTN for their support!

Don’t forget to tell your friends about the show and help us get the word out. If the show is inspiring to you and you would like to help us make it a daily show, please click here to donate. All donors will receive a signed copy of your choice of Dan’s new books: Finding God through Meditation30 Days with Teresa of Avila, or Navigating the Interior Life.

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